Top 5 Things That Will Burnout A Caregiver
September 12, 2012 § Leave a comment
It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day routine if you are a caregiver and before you know it you hit the wall and realize you are beyond burned out. It’s also easy for us to tell you to take time for yourself and ask for help, but what are some real examples of how you avoid reaching those high stress levels?
#1 – Get out of the “fix it mentality”. This is a tough one, because as a caregiver you are being asked to come in and help manage much of your loved one’s affairs whether it be meals, home maintenance, hygiene, finances or transportation. It’s easy to see problems and want to correct what you see as wrong. By “fixing” things, your loved one may perceive your solutions as a loss of their independence and begin to resent your services. The “thank-you’s” come less and less and the caregiver feels unappreciated and soon they are left feeling they haven’t really fixed anything, they have unintentionally made the situation worse.
To avoid the “fix it” mentality, understand that the role of caregiver is to advocate for someone who can no longer do it them self. Your role is to keep someone safe, and clean and well-cared for. You may not always get a thank you, but accept you are good enough and what you are doing has true value.
#2 Set boundaries – As early as possible, decide how much you are willing to sacrifice for your loved one. Once you decide where your boundaries are, it will make it easier to identify when you need to ask for help. This should help you seek assistance before you reach burnout.
#3 Caregiving is a verb – Don’t let your role as caregiver define who you are. It is something you do. This tip can be the hardest to follow because caregiving is a never-ending series of tasks. It’s far to easy for a person’s sense of self to get sacrificed. Try to define yourself by the things you like to do.
#4 Set goals – Don’t set aside your own ambitions while you are caregiving. There is no quicker way to discourage yourself, than by forgetting your own goals. Staying present in your own life’s passions will help keep your spirits up while you are caring for your loved one.
#5 Stop Feeling Guilty – A conscience can get the best of a caregiver and make you believe you aren’t doing enough or convince you to do more than you should. Much of the guilt a caregiver feels, is many times minimal in nature, but it can be enough to keep you up at night or ruin a caregiver’s “me time”. It is important to move forward and for you to learn to forgive yourself and accept the fact that you are doing the best you can.
Following these tips will help caregivers not lose sight of what is important, keeping themselves mentally fit so they can continue to care for those they love.
The Law Office of Dawn M. Weekly, PC is located in Sandwich, Illinois and focuses on elder law and Life Care Planning for clients. The office may be reached by calling 815-570-2334.