How to Support a Caregiver
Although acting as a primary caregiver can be fulfilling and rewarding to both the carer and the cared for, it can also cause many different types of fatigue. Without ensuring that caregivers are taking the right steps towards avoiding burnout, it is not uncommon that they are subject to higher levels of physical, mental, and emotional stress. We’ve compiled a few tips and techniques to ensure that all of the caregivers in our lives remain as happy and healthy as possible.
What is Burnout and What Causes it?
Burnout refers to when an individual does not devote enough time for self care and therefore is not able to take the necessary steps to ensure they remain as healthy as possible. Burnout can come in many forms and is experienced differently by all, but it can be classified as either physical, mental or emotional. With the increased stress that can come along with being a primary caregiver, burnout can occur much more frequently and to a higher degree.
What Steps Can a Caregiver Take To Prevent Burnout?
As a caregiver, there are many small techniques that you can incorporate into your day to day routine that can help reduce the chance of burnout. If you are someone who finds joy in little things such as making a to-do list or a schedule, try adding in some self-care time. Whether this be reading a chapter of your favourite book or doing some exercise, taking time for yourself is key to ensuring your mental and physical health continue to thrive. For those who love to write, don’t be afraid to start journaling about your day to day activities as a caregiver, and share your thoughts and feelings surrounding the situations you find yourself in. Make sure that you are able to maintain contact with friends and family outside of caregiving, as this will provide you with external social stimulation and support. One of the most important things, however, is to know your limit. By being aware of what you are able to endure physically, mentally, and emotionally, you will know when it is time to take a small step back and take a breath.
What Steps Can You Take To Support The Caregivers in Your Life?
A common misconception is that caregivers do all of the caring, which is a myth that we’re here to debunk. Although all caregivers have a heart made for giving, it is important that they receive the necessary support they need as well. As a relative or a friend the most important thing you can do for a caregiver is be there to act as a support. Whether that be stepping in and relieving them of their duties every once in a while, or being there to support them emotionally. Being an outlet for a caregiver will help ensure that they remain as happy and as healthy as possible. Some ways that you can support a caregiver in your life are by running errands for them, helping them develop a schedule, providing them with support resources, or by preparing meals. By being diligent, and present, we can all make sure the caregivers in our lives can continue to care for others in need.
We hope that you were able to gain some valuable insight from this article, and to all the caregivers, thank you for everything you do, it does not go unnoticed!
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