8 tips to avoid caregiver burnout

Caregiver and elderly woman walking outside on a nice day.

Many Americans take on the role of caregiver — and it's a role that can be filled with stress.

According to a recent report, 53 million American adults are unpaid family caregivers. Of those:

  • 61 percent are also working;
  • 26 percent have experienced difficulty coordinating care; and
  • 23 percent reported declining health as a result of providing care.

That's why it's important to keep yourself healthy — mentally, physically and emotionally.

Here are eight tips to help you avoid caregiver burnout:

  1. Get the facts. Find out answers to your caregiving questions.
  2. Care for your body. Get enough sleep, proper nutrition and exercise.
  3. Get equipped. Make home and vehicle modifications for an easier routine.
  4. Maintain other interests. Hobbies, work and social activities are vital.
  5. Spend time away. Even 15 minutes alone can be rejuvenating.
  6. Talk to others. Find a friend, pastor, family member or support group to talk to.
  7. Get help. Find others who can offer a hand or hire someone to assist.
  8. 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 don't hesitate to consult a mental health professional if you need support.

Utilize respite care services as needed. Even a few hours a week can make a difference.

Most importantly, remember that you deserve time and space to take care of yourself, too.

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