Avoid Caregiver Burn Out: Four Ways to Take a Break


As the air cools and summer winds down, many people feel refreshed and re-charged after summer vacations. But for caregivers of elderly parents, it may sometimes feel like there is no break in sight.

Along with feelings of inadequacy if it becomes difficult to keep up with caregiving duties, an adult child may feel guilty that they can’t do what’s expected or required.

It’s important to put guilt aside in order to make the decisions that are best for the senior in your care, whether that means bringing in outside help or finding another way to get a much-needed break from caregiving duties. Here are some suggestions to loosen your load, so you’ll be refreshed and energized. With the holidays right around the corner, (hard to believe, but true!) you’ll want to be at your best.

Choosing Temporary Respite to Recharge
Often, caregivers fulfill their duties without a problem and then, suddenly, experience burnout. Or a parent may take a turn for the worse, making it harder for the adult child to provide the necessary care.

Many senior homes and assisted living communities, as well as local churches, offer respite care for seniors. Respite care could involve a short-term, overnight stay in an assisted living home for a week or even several weeks. This break could be just what a caregiver needs.

If you’re considering placing the senior in your care into assisted living, opting for respite care within a senior community is also a great way to “test drive” various communities before making a choice.

Get a Daily Break with Day Care
Day care programs give caregivers short breaks each day, while giving seniors important social activities and companionship. Rather than feeling guilty over this choice, caregivers should recognize that they are doing what’s best for their parent.

If you’ve been staying home to care for an aging loved one, taking advantage of a day care program a few days a week can give you the time you need for yourself, to take up a hobby, start a side business, exercise, or do whatever makes you feel good again.

Meanwhile, your parent will be connecting with others and discovering new activities she may enjoy.

Hire In-home Care
Another solution to caregiver burnout is to hire someone to come to the house, even if it’s just a few hours a week, or a few hours a day.

Before hiring in-home care, make a list of daily duties. Are there certain tasks you dread, which a professional caregiver could take over? Or do you just need someone to do it all for one day a week? By making a clear list of duties, you’ll be able to hire the right caregiver and provide that person with a service plan, so you can be sure your senior parent is receiving the care he or she deserves and requires.

Re-evaluate Caregiver Roles
If these other options aren’t financially viable, in spite of tax credits that may be available, it’s time to call on other family members. Re-visit the division of duties and find out who can take over for you, whether it’s for respite that spans a few weeks in a row or just one or two days a week on a permanent basis.

The most important aspect of preventing caregiver burnout is to discuss your situation and work with others in your family to develop a plan that works for everyone.

SeniorLiving.Net is a free service for families to use that are looking for senior care or senior living for a loved one. Call (877) 345-1706 to speak to your local Care Advisor about senior care providers in your local area.