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Beware of Caregiver Burnout

 

A call came into our Care Patrol office from a frustrated daughter that had become her father’s maid, nurse, chauffeur, laundry service, bookkeeper, personal chef and diaper changer.  She had become exhausted to the point that her own health was suffering, and she had not slept through the night in months. This is an all-too-common call, and fortunately she contacted us before things got worse.

If you feel you may be experiencing caregiver burnout, I recommend that you divide  your situation into three manageable tasks:

1 – Beware of the signs that you need help.

2 – Take steps to be an effective caregiver.

3 – Ask for help.

Are you angry or resentful with someone that you love? Are you always tired, feel overwhelmed or short-tempered? Do you notice that you are drinking more, your health is declining or you are feeling isolated?  Do your kids feel neglected or are you missing out on family activities? If you relate to these scenarios, you may need help.

Taking care of a parent is a noble calling. But, we can’t be good caregivers if we neglect ourselves and other responsibilities.  Don’t be afraid to delegate and let other families members help. Sleep and nap. Prioritize your obligations such as the kids school activities and working out. Find a support group. Skip the pizza and beer and eat healthy. Share your situation with trusted family and friends.

It is a tremendous relief when you realize that you can’t do it all by yourself. Ask for help! Assign doctor appointments to your brother, laundry to your kids and shopping to your husband. When it is time to bring in the big guns, call Care Patrol. We can bring in companion care, help you navigate the assisted living process and recommend eldercare resources like financial experts, eldercare attorneys, senior move managers and realtors. Call your local CarePatrol advisor today!

About the author
Eric Klein

Senior Care Consultant

CarePatrol of Chicago Northshore

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