Being a carer for someone you love is rewarding but can be equally stressful at the same time.
Carers give their hearts and souls ensuring that loved ones are cared for and kept well.
Everything they do is often put before their own needs and wellbeing. Carers stress and burnout is unfortunately a common side effect of the life they lead.
When your loved one has dementia or/and Alzheimer’s the psychological impact and stress upon them is significantly more and can seriously hamper their own mental health.
If you are a carer providing care for a loved one, then here are some tips to help prevent the ailment and bring happiness into your life.
- Give time to yourself
From the daily necessities of meals and bath time, to the smaller and even more important things of making conversation with your loved one, or a kind gesture like making chocolate chip cookies with them to just bring some fun and light into their day.
Carers become so involved in someone else’s life that they forget to live their own. Not giving time to yourself is what leads to swift burnout.
Therefore, the first thing you need to do is simply take a day off. Assign your duties for the day to an equally competent carer or even have someone from an agency such as Everycare. Spend time by going on a trip with friends. Meet with family, or just simply read a book in the comfort of your own home. Everyone needs some me-time; you deserve it too!
- Research the disease
The transformation from being cared for to giving care among parents and children can be a challenging one, to say the least.
Sons and daughters suddenly find themselves in the role of a carer nursing a parent with dementia. They feel anxiety about their parent’s future and frustration at the simple tasks the parent can no longer do.
This is a key symptom of experiencing carers burnout. The carer needs to take a step back and at first research the disease to understand what’s happening.
It will reduce unwarranted anger and frustration at the loved one. As the disease gets worse, they will need to find ways to cope with the changes. Talking to other carers and discussing the problems with them can help immensely too.
- Meditation – a great way to prevent carers’ stress and burnout.
Experiencing stress and anxiety are bound to the job of a carer. They are always anxious about their loved ones health, stressful about finances, worried about the future, exhausted from the labour…
There is no way to completely remove this negativity, but there are effective ways to reduce it.
Sit down in a quiet place and take some deep breaths. Put on some soothing music if you want. Relax your body and forget your mundane activities. Focus and imagine a place you wish to be in for just fifteen minutes a day and meditate.
These fifteen minutes are enough to rejuvenate your mind and give it the much-needed break it needs from reality. Doing this exercise with your loved one is also a nice thought; the elder may also constantly be in a state of anxiety.
Meditation can do a lot of good for them too.
- Exercise – another way to prevent caregivers stress and burnout
Professional caregiving is a full-time job that requires a lot of effort and involves a lot of duties. However, even though helping the loved one live their daily life is taxing, it still does not count towards your body as exercise.
To make sure that your body gets the required amount of exercise it is necessary to fix a specific amount of time for the activity every day.
Something as small as running or walking in the park for a specific time every day can make a huge difference towards your health. Exercising can do wonders to clear your mind.
- Take care of yourself
You are no use to anyone if you get sick while fulfilling your duties as a carer. You are definitely of no use to your loved one who depends on you for their daily needs and way of living.
If you don’t take care of yourself and fall sick in the process, then who will take care of them? Schedule regular visits to the doctor to make sure that your body is fine and at full strength.
Eat your meals regularly, and most importantly eat healthily. Having a poor diet can eventually lead to serious health issues.
It’s better to eat a balanced diet from the very beginning. Eat your meals on time. Exercise and go to a frequent check-up at your doctor’s. If you take care of yourself, this can help the carers stress fade away of its own accord.
- Take a minute to be grateful
There is no getting around the fact taking good care of a loved one is hard. But it is really important to remember that all of the work is worth it.
You are devoting your time to improving someone else’s life and that is truly something amazing!
Even though your loved one is sick, you are doing your very best to make their life better. Your job has an amazing purpose in life and you should be proud of the fact every second you’re working.
Whatever the condition and suffering of your loved one, be grateful that you are there to help ease their pain and give them comfort in such a difficult time.
Caregivers play an extremely important role in the development of our society. They are the people who are in charge of taking care of the senior citizens of our society in their time of need.
If you are a carer or if you know someone who is undertaking such an incredible task, take a moment to remind yourself and/or them to take care of themselves.
Help avoid carers’ stress and burnout, by applying the outlined techniques. Because if you or they fall sick from caregiver stress, then who will take care of the elders?
What if it gets too much?
There is no failure in asking for help – it doesn’t mean you aren’t enough. Everycare work alongside many family members to provide care to very loved elderly and sick family members. We work in partnership, so that family members can have a break or continue to work. We can help support to get funding if there is a need. There’s a saying ‘ its takes a village to bring up a child’- this also applies when your loved one is elderly or unwell – it takes a community (village) to care for them – you are not alone.
Give us a call at Everycare Central Hants on 01962 842548 to discuss your options.
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