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Better Living Author April 9, 2019

Warning Signs of Caregiver Burnout: Importance of Respite Care

Acknowledging limitations, may it be yours or your elder’s, is one of the most effective ways to reduce anxiety and stress. When a good night’s sleep, a great meal, or a family presence, fails to brighten your mood, you may be starting to develop symptoms of caregiver burnout. Caregiving can be tremendously satisfying, but the overwhelming responsibilities, challenges and demands can also deplete you physically, mentally and emotionally over time, turning simple stress into burnout.

Life is easy and beautiful when giving is balanced with getting. This is when two individuals feel pleased with reciprocate relationship and the labour involved is hardly noticed. But when caregiving brings you nothing in return, not even appreciation, itadds to caregiver stress over time.

Answer these following questions in order to determine whether you’re suffering from the effects of caregiver stress:

  • Do you frequently feel blue about having to give up your routine and social life?
  • Do you often feel fatigued despite the amount of rest you get?
  • Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep?
  • Have you lost interest in your work, hobbies, friends, children or grandchildren?
  • Have you let your grooming slip?
  • Have you been careless about your own health and medical needs?
  • If applicable, has your chronic health condition recently flared up?
  • Do you feel like you are becoming less interesting to others?
  • Are you smoking or drinking more?
  • Has your appetite increased or decreased?
  • Have you been taking more sleeping pills or other drugs?
  • Do you experience feeling of helplessness?
  • Are your emotions often go out of control?

Don’t ignore these warning signs. Recognizing limitations, may it be your own or your elder’s, is an effective way to reduce anxiety and stress.

Try the following strategies to reduce or prevent caregiver stress.

  • Seek situations and experiences that make you laugh such as TV shows or a favorite radio station. Try to see the humor in funny things.
  • Look for ways to save energy and time. Perhaps you can place phone orders and have your groceries ready for you to pick up? What about shopping during off-hours?
  • Avoid isolation as staying in the house all the time may get you feeling down.
  • Use relaxation techniques such as visualizing comforting thoughts, listening to music or practicing meditation.

  • Discover a new hobby or re-establish an old one.
  • Ask family or friends to occasionally relieve you from caregiving role.
  • Avoid multi-tasking. Focus on one small component at a time so as not to be overwhelmed by a big task.
  • Seek professional help if the stress becomes greatly overwhelming.
  • Take advantage of respite care.

Respite works best when your time off is spent on activities that refuel, relax or energize you. Regularly scheduled time off, whether for a few hours, an entire day, a weekend, or a whole week, can boost your mental and physical well-being.

At Better Living Home Care Services, we can help you and your loved ones to continue with your daily routine around your home. This way, you will be able to spend time for yourself and attend to your personal obligations. All of this while having a peace of mind that your loved one is safe, comfortable and being well-cared for. We provide home care services ranging from personal care, respite care, nursing care to end-of-life care. Call our Client Care Coordinator at (604) 765-1827 to find more information.

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