As a caregiver to a parent with Alzheimer's disease, you are responsible for not only overseeing his or her health, but you also have to take care of the home. Unfortunately, taking on the added tasks from your parent can lead to caregiver burnout. If you are suffering from burnout, here is what you need to know.
Is It Burnout?
Caregiver burnout often results from failing to take care of your own needs because you are so focused on those of your parent. When you reach that point, it can be difficult to continue caring for your parent due to your own decline in health.
One of the first steps you can take to avoid burnout is know the symptoms so that you can act quickly to alleviate them. Caregiver burnout is characterized by a range of emotions and physical impairments, including:
- Mood swings, sometimes from anger to sadness
- Frequent illness
- Overreactions to normal situations
- Social withdrawal
Another sign that you should be cautious of is being the only caregiver. As long as you shoulder all of the responsibilities for your parent, you will undoubtedly head towards burnout.
What Can You Do?
There are several ways you can avoid and treat caregiver burnout. One way is to get more help. You can use a combination of family and professional help to take care of your parent's needs.
There are many services available to your parent. For instance, supportive home care offers help with tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, and companionship. Workers even help with running errands. If your parent's doctor recommends the service, you can even ask Medicare or your parent's insurance provider to help cover the cost.
Create a list of tasks that need to be accomplished throughout a day and divide the list up between you, the supportive care workers, and any family or friends that can help. By designating some of the work to others, you can take some of the load off yourself.
You also need to ensure that you are doing self-care tasks, such as eating healthy and exercising. Sleep is also important in keeping your mood intact.
In addition to these measures, you need to stay socially active. Accomplishing this can be challenging because your parent's needs can take time, but once you start delegating to others, you will have more time to do this. Even just an hour or two a week spent with friends or with a support group can make a difference.
For more answers and information contact a home care company, like Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care or a similar location.