If you look at the amount of time family caregivers are in that role, it’s often far more than a year. In fact, 2 out of 10 family caregivers are in the role for at least five years. Around 15 percent have been caring for a family member for 10 or more years.
When you’ve been providing care for multiple years, it’s harder to avoid caregiver burnout. It’s still possible to avoid burning out. These tips help.
Ask Family and Friends to Help Out
You may be the main family caregiver, but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything by yourself. Talk to other family members and close family friends about getting help.
If you have siblings, ask your siblings to chip in and help out with some tasks. Think about the things that would help you the most.
If you don’t like to cook, you could have a sibling who enjoys cooking make the meals for you to reheat during the week. If you have a harder time fitting in errands, ask a sibling to stop and pick up items and prescriptions that are needed during the week.
Remember That Self-Care is Essential
The most important part of being a family caregiver is practicing self-care. Do not stop caring for yourself. Go to the doctor and dentist as recommended. Exercise daily and make sure to eat nutritious foods rather than processed foods each day.
Engage in your favorite hobbies. Don’t give up so much of your free time that you stop doing the things you enjoy. If you like to knit, make sure you’re still knitting every day. You might be able to get your parents to join you.
Go out with friends and family members regularly. Don’t abandon your need to socialize. If you’re too busy to socialize, it’s time to step back and rearrange your schedule.
Take Time Off Each Week
Take time off every week to do things for yourself. While you’re out of the house, hire an elder care aide to provide the care your parents need. The amount of time you take off is up to you. You might find a full day makes you feel better than a few hours. If that’s the case, take the entire day to socialize, attend a class, or curl up in your home without any obligations distracting you from resting and de-stressing.
Talk to our elder care specialist about respite care. Once you have prices, make arrangements to have time off as often as you need it.