Caring for an aging loved one can be a rewarding experience, however without the proper support and assistance, caregiving can also burn an individual out. Caregivers must take on a wide range of responsibilities, which can leave them overwhelmed, and subject to thoughts of sadness and even depression. As a leading provider of senior home care in El Dorado Hills, we know that it’s so much easier to prevent burnout rather than recover from it, and wanted to share some simple things that caregivers can do to reduce their stress and avoid burnout.
- Get a Good Night’s Rest – Sleep deprivation has a negative effect on the mind’s ability to stay alert and to remember well. Not getting enough sleep decreases the ability to enjoy relationships and live a good quality of life. You need to work with family, friends and El Dorado Hills live-in home care or respite care services to be sure that you get seven or eight hours of uninterrupted sleep several nights a week.
- Eat a Healthy Diet – Athletes prepare for a marathon by making sure their bodies are well nourished. The constancy of caregiving requires a similar mindset. Eat like you are preparing for a marathon. Not high quantity, but high quality food. Friends and family that can’t help in other ways may be willing to bring in an occasional meal.
- Don’t Forget to Laugh – Because taking care of an aging loved one is not always the easiest task, it is important to balance your life with laughter. Many researchers believe that laughter reduces stress and helps you to sleep better. When you can’t invite friends over, turn on the television and laugh out loud. You are protecting your health and sanity.
- Maintain Your Social Relationships – Taking care of an aging parent or loved one tends to be isolating. However, maintaining close relationships and social ties is important in ensuring overall health and happiness. Often friends and loved ones don’t know what to do, so they stop calling you. Call them. Use respite care services to make arrangements to go out with people you enjoy. Invite people over even though you can’t be a perfect host. Friends understand.
- Enjoy the Little Moments – All anyone really has is the present. Nothing else is guaranteed. Enjoy the moments that are good, such as sunshine pouring in the window, a warm cup of coffee, or a smile. Find joy and gratitude in these moments.
Because caregiving is so difficult, it is important to involve other people. Start by asking health care professionals. They can often point you to support services such as live-in or hourly care in El Dorado Hills. Once you have a picture of what is available, you can better plan for breaks and organize your schedule so that you can enjoy time to yourself, and be the best caregiver possible.
For more information on in-home or respite care services near you, reach out to Home Care Assistance of El Dorado County at 916-358-3801 and speak with a friendly and knowledgeable Care Manager.