If you know someone who has taken care of a senior or disabled family member at home, you know it's a tough job. Sometimes, the stress of caring for the elderly, chronically ill or disabled people can lead to a condition called "caregiver burnout."
Although caregiver stress is common, there are several ways to cope with it.
Here are 4 of them:
- Exercise regularly. Being in shape can help one fight stress, and some exercises are great at releasing pent-up tension. Exercise also raises the levels of chemicals called endorphins in the body, which can improve mood and help one feel more positive.
- Sleep and rest more. Body and mind need to recover from stress and repair the damage. If you follow the previous suggestion and exercise more, you should definitely add more sleep time to your schedule.
- Make the job easier. Use tools that can make caregiving tasks less challenging. For example, use tuckable underpads that will stay put without requiring frequent adjustment. Use strong gloves that are not likely to tear and require a mid-procedure change. Use overnight protective briefs that will keep the patient dry longer and are less likely to leak and force an unnecessary trip to the laundromat to wash the linens. You get the idea:)
- Take a break. Few things work better than taking a breather and pausing for a bit. Asking for help is perfectly fine! If the situation allows, pay someone to take over for a few days. Delegating some tasks to others can help take the edge off and lessen the workload.