10 Tips to Avoid Caregiver Burnout

Being the primary caregiver for a loved one dealing with a serious medical condition is hard and will take a toll on you. The good news is there are things caregivers can do to help them provide the best care possible, make it through the tough times and avoid caregiver burnout.

        Soothe yourself with prayer, meditation, repeating positive affirmations or anything else to remind you that you are a wonderful person.  It is helpful to join a caregivers’ support group and get around other people who are in the same situation as you.

        Switch your focus: Do something different, change your routine – even if it’s just for a few minutes.  This will help you return to what you were doing with a fresh perspective.

        Ask for help: Make a list of things you need and concrete ways people can assist you. When people ask what they can do, have the, choose from the list.

        Avoid isolation: Spend time with friends, pursue a hobby, take a class and become active in your community.

        Take care of your needs: eat right, exercise, get enough rest, get regular checkups at the doctor and take time for yourself spending time alone or with friends and family.

        Express your feelings: Feelings of anger, depression and sadness are common to caregivers. Talk about these feelings with a friend, relative, support group or therapist.

        Avoid the use of illegal drugs and/or alcohol: These substances do not help to make the situation any better.  See a therapist or join a support group to work on issues, instead of ignoring them.

        Remember that you are doing the best you can. Nobody is perfect or can do everything. Accept assistance if offered and stay positive.

        Consult with trained professionals who have the knowledge and experience with aging issues to help make things easier for you.

        Taking care of yourself first will leave you with the energy needed to be a much more effective caregiver, which is something positive and healthy for your loved one as well.

Kurt A. Kazanowski, MS, RN, CHE, owner of Homewatch CareGivers in Plymouth, Michigan, is a seasoned health care executive with over three decades of experience. and Please visit /and


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