Taking care of someone is a challenging task. Much more so if it is done almost on a 24/7 basis. It can be physically, mentally, and emotionally tasking. A lot of primary carers have a lot of other responsibilities aside from caregiving. They have to do household chores too and pay necessary bills. When this continues for some time, they can experience caregiver burnout.

What Is Caregiver Burnout?

As defined by Cleveland Clinic and WebMD, “Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion.” It can occur when caregivers don’t get any help from others in performing caregiving tasks or when they do not get the respite they deserve from time to time. They can also experience it when they try to do more than they are able to, physically or financially. When burnout occurs, there is change from a caring attitude to an unconcerned attitude. Feelings of fatigue, stress, anxiety and depression are also often felt.

How Can Caregiver Burnout Be Prevented?

Here are some tips to help prevent caregiver burnout:

1. Educate yourself about the illness. You can be a more effective caregiver if you know more about the illness of the person you are caring for. Knowing about their illness can give you a general view of their needs and problems. Learning about their disease can also help you be realistic on setting your goals in taking care of them. For example, if their disease if progressive such as Alzheimer’s, you must be ready to accept that the time will come where you cannot take care of your loved one alone and consider putting him or her in a nursing home or hiring extra help.

2. Don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings with others. Find a good friend or a family member you trust and vent out your frustrations or whatever it is that you are feeling to them. Accepting emotional support can be a good way to release tension. It could also be an opportunity for others to realise your hardships and they can then offer you a helping hand. There are also a lot of different professionals that you can talk to like therapists, social workers, and clergy members and can give you advice and counselling.

3. Know your limits, ask for help, and take breaks. There is no need to do everything all at once on your own. Do not feel guilty asking for help from others. Take care of yourself by eating healthy, getting plenty of rest and sleep, and including exercise in your routines. Taking good care of yourself will allow you to take good care of other people. Try to insert hobbies and recreational activities that make you feel happy. 

4. Join caregiver support groups. There are a lot of caregiver support groups both face-to-face and online. Sharing your feelings and experiences with other people faced with similar situations can help reduce feelings of frustration and isolation. Support groups can also give you access to other help resources

5. Consider respite care services. Respite care allows opportunity for a temporary break that caregivers need. This can range from a few hours as emergency respite care  or short term respite care by a short stay in a nursing or assisted living facility.

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Prevent Caregiver Burnout With Respite Care From Auslife Disability Care

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