hispanic_male_femaleBurnout is a very real and concerning issue for a caregiver, especially those who do this long-distance.  However, there are many ways caregiver stress can be controlled and managed, to hopefully avoid that worrisome burnout.  While some level of stress is quite natural in a caregiving environment there are stress triggers that can be better managed—such as an aging loved one becoming forgetful and unable to manage their own medicinal therapy and such.  For the long distance caregiver, this is extremely worrisome, but technology is changing.  Today, there are mobile applications and other medical services coming into play to alleviate some of these concerns for the caregiver today.

Now, research is showing that there is more caregiver stress when caring for those with cognitive issues like early stage dementia, which can be harder to deal with.  Also, any caregiver in a circumstance where they can’t check in on their loved one everyday can create more tension and stress.  No matter what the situation is, caregiver stress has to be accounted for and managed, because it isn’t good for anyone—especially the loved one themselves.  You can’t forget about your own needs or you just won’t be any good for your loved one or patient!

It’s important to remember that even though you might know everything you need to in order to give the best care for your loved one, don’t forget yourself!  Just as you can spot health changes within your loved one, you need to be able to do the same thing with yourself.  Minor changes in your mood and even your perception, or attitude can signal a burnout.  The following are just some of the characteristics of a caregiver who is dealing with too much and needs a break to avoid burnout:

  • You’re extremely moody, even when things seem to be going great. You might cry one minute and laugh the next, even though nothing is funny.
  • You seem to become ill very easily, illustrating heavy stress and a burden on your immune system.
  • You’re putting your needs on a back burner, like getting in exercise, adequate rest and more.
  • You’re extremely snappy with everyone for no reason at all
  • You are becoming forgetful, showing you’re trying to do too much and not taking care of your own needs.

Once again, these are just some of the characteristics of caregiver stress, there is much more.  Still, moodiness is one of the most common issues in caregiving.  It is your body’s way of telling you: “enough is enough, time to take a break.”  You shouldn’t feel guilty for needing a time out, or time for yourself at all.

Now, the following below tips will help you recollect yourself and gain more optimism once again.  You’ll find that when you focus on you, you’ll be able to provider a higher level of care for your patient and/or loved one!  These genuine tips are listed below:

  • Share your feelings with other and always maintain open communication so other people know exactly how you are feeling too.
  • You should learn to embrace any small victories your loved one has and not blame yourself for what you can’t change for them.
  • Be proud of what you’re doing and take time to really recognize what you are doing makes a difference. Don’t take yourself for granted.
  • Accept assistance when someone else offers it. If another family member offers to take your position one day, let them—you need a break!
  • Spread family responsibilities so that you’re not trying to do everything on your own.

Too many caregivers go and neglect their own needs.  Once caregiver stress is visible, it’s hard to get control of, so don’t let this happen to you.  You need emotional support too!  So, managing stress, reigning it in and taking care of yourself are critical here!  This is just as important as ensuring your loved one gets to their medical appointments and takes their prescription meds on time!

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