Taking Care of our Caregivers: Ways to reduce Stress and avoid Burnout

    As Premier Health Care staff and caregivers you do such important work each day ensuring the wellness, safety and health of your clients and/or family members. Taking care of a loved one who has dementia, physical disabilities or other age-related conditions makes demands on your time, energy and emotions and can feel overwhelming. Caregiving can tax our patience and foster fatigue, frustration and guilt, becoming a grueling grind that takes a heavy toll on the caregiver's body and mind. That's why it's so important to watch for signs of caregiver burnout and take proactive steps to deal with it before it spirals out of control.

    Warning signs of caregiver burnout

    Below are 10 indicators that a caregiver may be experiencing a high level of stress:

    • Anger or frustration toward the person you're caring for
    • Anxiety
    • Denial about a loved one’s condition
    • Depression
    • Exhaustion that makes it tough to complete your daily tasks
    • Health problems, such as getting sick more often
    • Inability to concentrate that makes it difficult to perform familiar tasks or causes you to forget appointments
    • Irritability and moodiness
    • Sleeplessness
    • Social withdrawal from friends and activities that you used to enjoy

    Tips to reduce caregiver stress

    Give yourself a break. Ask a friend or relative to fill in for you for a few hours occasionally so you can take a walk, watch a movie or go out to dinner. For Premier staff, ask to utilize time off to get a needed break.

    If you don't have that sort of informal support available or feel you need more structured respite care, Premier Home Health Care can offer Respite services. This will allow you to take additional time you may need to run errands, go on a vacation or just get a break for a few hours to take care of your well-being.

    Tap into online resources. The U.S. government's Eldercare Locator can connect you with your local Area Agency on Aging, which can guide you to resources in your community to help you deal with the challenges you are facing.

    You also can call the Eldercare Locator at 800-677-1116. The Family Caregiver Alliance's Family Care Navigator can help you locate local resources, too.

    Nurture positive relationships. You may be overwhelmed, but take the time to talk with your closest friends and family members.

    Spend an evening with someone who is a good listener. Limit your interactions with negative people who will drag down your mood and perspective.

    Take care of your own health. Set a goal to establish a good sleep routine and to exercise a certain number of hours every week.

    Be sure to eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water. See your doctor for recommended immunizations and screenings.

    Tell your physician that you're a caregiver and bring up any concerns you may have. A daily relaxation and meditation practice can be beneficial as well.

    *As Premier Home Health Care staff you can also reach out to your Staffing Coordinator or other Branch staff in order to discuss your needs for time off and to discuss any issues with stress you may be having on your cases. Together we can help problem solve issues so that you can continue to do the work that you do while assisting your client and/or family member maintain their wellness.




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