Caring for a loved one is a big job.
You sacrifice personal time to pick up medications, buy groceries, drive to doctor appointments and sit by your loved one’s side. You offer advice, encouragement and a hand to hold. Even though it is your choice to be there for the other person, sometimes, even the strongest and kindest caregivers experience burnout.
Caregiving takes a physical, emotional and mental toll on the caregiver. How do you, the caregiver, know when it is time to show yourself some love? Look at the signs of caregiver burnout below, and if you are experiencing two or more, then it is time to put yourself first.
Signs of Caregiver Burnout
- Quick to anger
- Easily flustered or frustrated
- Withdrawing from friends and social situations
- Others express concerns about your well-being
- Losing focus at work
- Not keeping up your appearance
- Extremely tired all the time
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
- Experiencing health problems such as back pain or headaches
- Getting sick more frequently with colds or flu
- Increased use of alcohol, drugs or prescription medications
- Crying for no reason
- Feeling hopeless and sad
- Being forgetful and having trouble concentrating
A Little Self Care Goes a Long Way
The good news is that taking time for your own well-being will make you healthier, happier and a better caregiver to boot.
Self-care takes many different forms. What helps one person destress may not work for you. Discover what brings you joy and relaxation—from a simple outdoor walk to an elaborate beach vacation—and do what you can to re-charge. Here are a few options to consider.
Ways to Re-Charge and Re-Energize
- Soak in a bubble bath
- Practice yoga
- Walk or bike ride outdoors
- Watch a movie
- Go out to eat
- Attend a live concert or theater performance
- Cheer on your favorite team at a sporting event
- Spend quality time with friends and family
- Play games with others or on your computer
- Bake a cake
- Write in a journal
- Listen to feel-good music
- Plan a weekend getaway
- Ask for and accept help
Respite Stays Offer Caregivers a Well-Deserved Break
Respite stays give caregivers a well-deserved break from caregiving…with peace of mind and minimal guilt.
If you need an extended break for a vacation, family reunion or work trip, then a short-term respite stay for your loved one may be the perfect solution.
During a respite stay, your loved one will receive personal care and attention from a team of professional caregivers at a senior living community. They will have the same access to services and amenities as permanent residents.
A respite stay offers caregivers time to refresh while knowing that their loved one is being well cared for and engaged. It also affords a convenient opportunity to sample an assisted living or memory care lifestyle ahead of a potential future move.
Most Pathway to Living assisted living and memory support communities offer affordable and easy to arrange respite stays. To find a community near you, visit pathwaytoliving.com.