As a caregiver what do you wish you had known when you first became a caregiver that you know now? What was the best piece of advice for caring for someone that you have received? Is there anything you do to reduce caregiver burnout?
We've likely all heard so many different things, have read plenty of articles and have made lists upon lists to help us get through. So I thought, "why not share a general roundup of caregiver advice which will hopefully reduce your amount of caregiver burnout?"
Tip One - Doctors:
Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors. Research definitions, make a list of questions and show that you are dedicated to knowing everything that is related to your loved one.
Tip Two - Yes and No's:
Learn how to accept help from others without any guilt. If they offer, take it! In the same breath, learn how to say no when you need to. Our previous blog post may help.
Tip Three - Legal Documents:
Make sure all of your legal documents are in order. If something stressful happens, you'll want to be able to grab one folder and run out the door if need be. That way you'll know that you have everything you need.
Tip Four - Hire the Right People:
Listen to your gut when you have hired help. If you feel confident with the extra help you've brought in, you'll have less stress. This means you should do your research on the agency you're working with and have a list of questions for your new hire interview so you miss nothing in the moment.
Tip Five - Mindfulness:
It's important that you time time to find your centre and reduce stress. Even if you only have a moment to spare, take that moment to breathe deeply or connect with the outdoors. When that moment is over, you may find that your stress has reduced and you have a sense of self. Look at our blog about mindfulness for more ideas!
Tip Six: Take Time for You
Don't feel guilty about needing a bit of you time. It's important that you take care of yourself as well so that you can be fully present for your loved one. Try scheduling in a weekly activity so you hold yourself accountable. This will allow you to make accommodations so your alone time doesn't get slashed.
There are so many tips out there, here's a great graphic to consult as a friendly reminder by the Caregiver Action Network.
You may find that mindfulness, taking time for yourself and learning to say no will be your biggest efforts agains caregiver burnout. However, a multi-step plan including organization, your network, research and wellness will be the best defence against falling into caregiver burnout!