5 Ways to Avoid Caregiver Burnout


Even though you are a primary caregiver to someone else, caring for yourself should always take first priority. “Caregiver burnout” is real and it affects not only you, but your senior loved one and your other family members. For those who may not know, caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion that is brought on by unrelieved stress related to caregiving. It is not something to be taken lightly, especially during Mental Health Awareness Month. That’s why our care team in Pitman, NJ has put together warning signs and the 5 most effective ways to avoid the dreaded caregiver burnout.

Signs of caregiver burnout

If you are experiencing any or all of the signs listed below, you are broaching on burnout territory.

  • Becoming irrationally impatient or angry with the person in your care and others around you
  • Generally feeling like caregiving is controlling every aspect of your life
  • Lack of energy, overwhelming fatigue and sleeping problems
  • Weight loss or weight gain due to changes in eating habits
  • Losing interest or withdrawing from activities you once enjoyed
  • Neglecting your own needs both physically and emotionally
  • Feelings of hopelessness, depression, or anxiety; frequent mood swings
  • Frequently experiencing headaches, stomach aches or other physical problems that are not common for you

Preventing caregiver burnout: 5 methods

Now that you are aware of the warning signs, here are 5 of the best methods in preventing caregiver burnout:

  1. Allocate at least 1 hour of each day just for you.  Easier said than done, but really commit to that 1 hr each day and do whatever you want with it. Turn your phone off and enjoy your morning coffee in silence. Or read a few chapters of a new book you’ve been dying to dig into. 
  2. Delegate tasks to others when possible. The people who are closest to you will always want to help you out, especially if they know you may be experiencing caregiver burnout. If you are married or in a relationship, ask your significant other to take over cooking dinner. Or ask one of your good friends to run those extra errands for you. Taking some daily tasks off your plate will alleviate stress and will give you more time to focus on yourself. 
  3. Prioritize your personal needs. Do not keep putting off that doctor’s appointment or skip weekly workouts. Your needs matter, they are valid and you are entitled to take care of yourself first before caring for someone else. If you have to, go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier in the morning to gain more time for your self-care. 
  4. Join a caregiver support group. It often helps to speak to others who are going through the same feelings as you. Fortunately, there are caregiving support groups that you attend either in person or virtually. Two of the most well-known support groups are the Caregiver Action Network and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
  5. Consider respite care at United Methodist Communities. It’s so important to take a mental break and go on a vacation once in a while, especially if you are a full-time caregiver. If you’re wondering who can watch mom or dad while you’re away, respite care is an ideal solution. Respite care at UMC provides your loved one with individualized care in a safe, nurturing environment with a professional staff to support their needs 24/7.

Respite care in Pitman, NJ

At Pitman, caregiving revolves around the quality of our nurses and associates, our faith-based mission, and our commitment to an abundant life for all seniors. We offer a variety of senior care services that can put your mind and the minds of your family members at ease. Respite is a perfect opportunity to try out UMC at Pitman before making a commitment and many people become residents through this avenue. They find new friends, outlets for their interests, as well as a very welcoming environment.

To learn more about respite care for seniors in Gloucester County, please contact United Methodist Communities at Pitman today or visit our website at: https://umcommunities.org/pitman/

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