When you’re responsible for helping a loved one, whether they be a parent, aunt, uncle or sibling, it can be demanding. The loss of independence due to age or disability means you’re fulfilling the needs of two people. As such, caregiver burnout is far from an uncommon phenomenon. Here, we’re going to look at some of the biggest causes and what you can do about it.
Caregiving is a full-time job, but it doesn’t mean that you should be sacrificing all the time you have in order to do it. You may be able to access funding for short-term interim care that could allow you to take some time off, whether it’s a few hours a week or even a day on the weekend. Some time to relax, enjoy activities with friends, or engage in your own hobbies is essential, so look for the opportunities that allow you the moments you need to yourself.
The time you spend taking care of your loved one may be better spent. Everything you do for them is important, but working smarter, not harder, can help take some of the weight of the workload off your shoulders. Staying organized by putting systems in place for their schedule, medication, documents, and reminders for daily needs can help you work a lot more efficiently. Working Daughter has several tips on how to better organize your day that are well worth checking out. That means less time stressing about whether you’re doing everything you need to and a little more freedom to enjoy that all-important time to yourself.
When you become a caregiver, it adds a significant new responsibility to your life. A lot of people have trouble maintaining the balance between their life as a caregiver and their job. Switching to a part-time job or taking more leave can hurt your finances. However, organizations like Freedom Care can help you make an income as a caregiver, eliminating the necessity to find other work at all. After all, caregiving is a full-time job, so why shouldn’t you be paid as if it is?
The time and attention that your loved one takes up can make it a lot harder to maintain your existing social relationships. As such, isolation can be a significant problem. However, there may be opportunities near you to forge new relationships with those who understand your specific challenges and needs. Daily Caring highlights several caregiver support groups online and there may also be physical meetups near your location. Not only can they offer company and support, but also practical advice that can better help you face the ongoing challenges of being responsible for your loved one. Most importantly, simply having a place to be heard can offer a lot of relief.
Most important of all is that you recognize when you need help and be willing to look out for it. Talking to your doctor about your mental health could open up access to many resources that you were previously unaware of. Don’t suffer in silence as a caregiver.