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4 tips for avoiding caregiver burnout for dementia care

Learn the importance of caring for yourself to better care for your loved one

When an aging relative is diagnosed with dementia, there is so much more for family caregivers to worry about than just physical ailments that are common with age.

Dementia requires an extra level of care that can quickly lead family caregivers toward chronic stress and heightened anxiety over their elderly loved one’s condition which can easily turn into caregiver burnout.

Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion that is extremely common in family caregivers, but for those who care for seniors with dementia, the risk is even higher.

Continue reading to learn our best tips for avoiding caregiver burnout for dementia care.

#1: Learn the signs of chronic stress 

Chronic stress is one of the biggest warning signs that you’re on the road to burnout. That’s why one of the most effective methods for avoiding caregiver burnout is for family caregivers to recognize the signs and symptoms of chronic stress.

Unlike stress which is temporary, chronic stress is when you find yourself in an almost constant state of stress which puts pressure on your body for too long, causing both physical and psychological issues. [1]

Common signs and symptoms of chronic stress include: 

  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Digestive problems, and
  • Changes in appetite. [1]

If not controlled, chronic stress can lead to long-term health problems such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Weakened immune system
  • Depression
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety disorders, and
  • Burnout. [1]

Read more:

The ultimate guide to senior mental health

#2: Recognize if you’re taking on too much of the burden of care

Family caregivers should also recognize whether they are taking on too much of the burden of care upon themselves.

Sometimes it’s easier to handle your family member’s care yourself because then you don’t have to explain it to someone else. Other times, your aging loved one is stubborn with anyone that is not the family caregiver. You may also feel too much guilt when you arrange for some time away to take a break from caring.

Regardless of the cause, family caregivers often suffer greatly when they do take a break and therefore avoid it, which quickly leads to burnout. 

#3: Focus on self-care

When family caregivers do take breaks, it’s important to make the most of them and focus on self-care.

Self-care can include almost anything that allows you to take care of yourself, so that you can be healthy and productive in your day-to-day life.

Try self-care practices such as:

  • Exercise
  • Spending time in nature
  • Socializing with friends
  • Doing a hobby, or
  • Just relaxing.

Even running errands and catching up on basic tasks can be a stress reliever for a busy family caregiver. As long as the activity is meaningful and helps relieve your burdens, it’s a valid stress-buster.

#4: Hire in-home care support 

One of the best ways you can actively work to be avoiding caregiver burnout is realizing that you may need to arrange for supplemental help for your aging loved one in the form of in-home care providers. You may realize that without outside help, you’re jeopardizing your physical and mental health.

Read more:

Where’s the best place to find an in-home caregiver for my aging parent?

In conclusion

When it comes to finding a good balance between caring for a senior with dementia and having time for yourself, you’re doing the right thing by hiring an in-home care provider. That way, you aren’t putting your own health in jeopardy and you’re focusing on your own needs so you can better meet the needs of your loved one.

Considering in-home care for your aging loved one?

At Flourish in Place, we’re proud to offer a wide variety of care services to our clients including dementia care and respite for family caregivers with the support of our trained, compassionate caregivers.

We can provide support at almost any level you need with hourly, daily, overnight, and live-in care that can be scheduled for as little as a few hours a visit or up to 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

We proudly serve Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Brevard Counties which includes areas such as Orlando, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, St. Cloud, and Maitland, FL. 

To learn more, please request your Free Consultation today.

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Sources:
1: Medical News Today | What are the health effects of chronic stress?

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