Many of us have taken on the role of caregiver, one that can be filled with stress.
In a recent study, 34.2 million Americans identified as informal caregivers. As a result of their caregiving role:
- 38 percent reported high levels of emotional stress;
- 19 percent reported a high level of physical strain; and
- 17 percent have experienced a high level of financial strain.
That's why it's important to keep yourself healthy — mentally, physically and emotionally.
Here are eight tips to avoid caregiver burnout:
- Get the facts. Find out answers to your caregiving questions.
- Care for your body. Get enough sleep, proper nutrition and exercise.
- Get equipped. Make home and vehicle modifications for an easier routine.
- Maintain other interests. Hobbies, work and social activities are vital.
- Spend time away. Even 15 minutes alone or away with others can be rejuvenating.
- Talk to others. Find a friend, pastor, family member or support group to talk to.
- Get help. Find others who can offer a hand or hire someone to assist.
- Give thanks. Take a minute each day to focus on something positive.
To stay healthy, try to find the right balance of caring for a loved one and yourself during this time.
Watch for signs of depression, and get professional help as needed.
Use respite care services as needed. Even a few hours a week can make a difference.
Not sure where to turn? We're here to help.