INALA Conversations: Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

Starting a conversation about health, finances and living situations with a loved one can be difficult- but it doesn’t have to be. The INALA Conversations series is a resource to help prepare you for those discussions. Let us help guide you through these important conversations with some helpful tips and insight. Positive communication is key!

From mowing the lawn to handling finances to attending doctors appointments, caregiver burn out is a REAL thing… and is even more likely to happen if you are also juggling a career of your own.

Earlier this week, we talked about caregiver burnout in terms of your parents – when mom cares for dad or vice versa. But what about when you are the caregiver? How can you avoid burnout?

  1. Self-care comes first. How can you care for someone else if you aren’t mentally and physically healthy?
  2. Life outside of caregiving is necessary. This goes hand-in-hand with self-care. Be sure to maintain your life outside of caring for your aging family members.
  3. If you are feeling distraught, talk to someone. Did you know there are caregiver support groups? Not interested in attending an actual meeting? Search online! There are message forums and blogs dealing with caregivers, too.
  4. Think about ways to make caregiving easier on you. From equipment to home modifications, sometimes spending a little money is a necessary evil. Is it hard to hold mom up in the shower while she bathes? Invest in a shower chair – it will help you AND as a bonus, give mom a little more independence. Is it hard for dad’s wheel chair to fit through the doorways? Think about installing a pocket door, sliding rustic door or enlarging the door frame.
  5. When you feel like you are starting to get stressed, take a step back. Hire help a couple days a week.
  6. TALK to your parents (or the person you are caring for). Explain to them that you need help and that maybe, other options should be examined. Honesty is key.

If you are feeling burned out, you are not alone! View these resources below:

Caregiver Stress Check

Caregiver Resources