It is hard to have a sense of humor when you are suffering from caregiver burnout. Maybe you don’t even know how to describe what you are experiencing because you are so tired or mentally drained. Here at UMC HomeWorks, we appreciate everything you do for your senior loved one, and want you to know you are not alone. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 53 million people provide some kind of caregiving service each year. Every one of you is special.
How do you know you are suffering from caregiver burnout, and what can you do to feel the lightness of a smile again?
Signs Of Caregiver Burnout
Have you been taking care of a loved one with a disability, injury, or condition such as dementia? Are you the family member that manages their daily life, including helping them to bathe, eat, or take medicine? It is a big responsibility and, coupled with managing your own life, it can be stressful. If you nod your head while reading the following signs of caregiver burnout, it is time to make at least one change in your life this week.
- Feeling tired most of the time
- Becoming forgetful
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Feeling alone or deserted by others
- Gaining or losing weight
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Feeling worried or sad the whole time you’re with your loved one
- Easily irritated or angry
Caregiver Bill Of Rights
You might not know this, but as a family caregiver, you also have a Bill of Rights. You have the right to take care of yourself and you have the right to ask for help, even if your relative objects. You can occasionally express challenging feelings such as anger, and you are allowed to reject attempts from family members to manipulate you with guilt, anger and depression.
You have the absolute right to maintain facets of your own life that do not include the person you care for, just as you would if they were healthy.
Prevent Caregiver Burnout By Being Kind To Yourself
What can you do to be kind to yourself and prevent caregiver burnout? There are many actions you can take, but these two are a good start:
Use community caregiving services. Find out if there are any caregiving services in your community, whether they be classes about something you struggle with or housekeeping services. Support services connect you with people outside your home and opens the doors to spending time with friends, family or a support group.
Accept help. Asking for and accepting help is nothing to be ashamed of. Make a list of ways someone else can assist you, either by spending time with your loved one while you do a hobby or by cooking for you.
Laughing is the Best Medicine
Were you surprised to hear yourself give a good belly laugh when you watched your dog running around in joyful circles after being stuck indoors for a while? In the midst of your challenging everyday circumstances, you can still find humor. Keep a toy nearby that makes you laugh, or watch funny animal or baby videos online. Laughter boosts the immune system and relaxes your whole body, it also protects your heart. Have some fun, it is good for you.
Benefits of Live-In Care From UMC HomeWorks
Did you know we offer live-in care at UMC HomeWorks? A trained caregiver offers one-on-one care, attention and assistance in the home where your loved one stays. You can also request a 24-hour live-in carer if you have someone with mobility or memory issues. Some of the benefits of using our live-in caregiving services are:
- Cost savings
- Personal care
- Safety and support
- Meal preparation and shopping
- 24-Hour supervision
- Consistency in schedule
Do you have caregiver burnout and want to arrange live-in care for your loved one? We are here to support you and can get help to you as quickly as possible. Call one of our HomeWorks caregivers today or visit us at: https://umcommunities.org/homeworks/senior-care-new-jersey/
This blog was originally published at https://umcommunities.org/homeworks/in-home-senior-care/when-caring-for-a-loved-one-a-sense-of-humor-is-important/