Respite Care And Caregiver Burnout Prevention
THE BASICS OF CAREGIVER BURNOUT
If you’ve ever taken on the responsibility of care for another person, you know exactly how hard it can be. It’s all too common for people to discount feelings of frustration, fatigue or distress as simply being selfish – but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Even professional caregivers face the same emotions in their day-to-day work – but, unlike a professional, you’re not on the clock. So being an adult child caregiver can actually be more challenging than doing it for a living, especially when you add all the other adult responsibilities we live with, like managing a household, paying bills and making it to work on time. It’s no wonder you feel a little worn out!
SIGNS OF CAREGIVER BURNOUT
What are some symptoms of caregiver burnout? Look out for these warning signs:
Are you exhausted? It sounds like an obvious yes-or-no question, but it’s unfortunately common for caregivers to ignore what their body is telling them. Of course, that isn’t sustainable. Neglecting sleep and self-care can hurt your caregiving efforts and your long-term health.
Increased frequency of sickness. High stress and little sleep are two of the most common factors in a number of chronic and acute illnesses. A weaker immune system means more pathogens in your system – and more you could potentially pass along to someone you love.
Feeling neglected. You can’t care for someone else before you care for yourself. While this might sound like a simple truism, it’s very important to keep in mind that your happiness is important, too. The older adult you care for will notice how you’re feeling. Remember, they care for you, too.
Missing out on daily life. Caregiving shouldn’t mean totally sacrificing your independence, but it’s very common for caregivers to feel guilty about taking time to enjoy it. This guilt usually originates with a kind of self-deception that leads us to feel that if we’re not giving everything we can to a loved one in need, we’re just being selfish. That is not so – you need and deserve time to live life at your pace.
Luckily, alleviating the stress of caregiver burnout doesn’t require making a huge change. It starts with deliberately building in time for the other important things in your life, like adjusting your schedule to include time to rest, recover and take care of your health. Talk with brothers, sisters, cousins, spouse or family friends to share the work.
Read here to learn more about caregiver burnout.
CARGIVER BURNOUT vs. COMPASSION FATIGUE
Commonly discussed alongside the issue of caregiver burnout is something called “compassion fatigue” – but what is it, and how is it different? Put simply, compassion fatigue is the sudden loss of empathetic feelings toward other people, including the person you’re caring for.
It’s caused by acute extreme stress that can come with carrying out your caregiver duties – but, unlike caregiver burnout, it doesn’t happen over time. Instead, it’s almost like the part of your brain that is responsible for sympathizing with the emotions of others simply shuts off from overuse.
Some of the signs are the same – like exhaustion, anger or social isolation – but the rapid onset of compassion fatigue means at-home caregivers don’t have the time to adjust. Respite care can give the helping hand that both you and your loved one need.
HOW RESPITE CARE HELPS
Respite care – also called short-stay elder care or adult day care – grants you the freedom to get other things done. Whether that’s an important business trip or a simply a much-needed vacation, respite care gives you the kind of support you can trust to keep your loved one safe.
So how do you get started? Reach out to a senior living community like Carnegie Village that offers adult day care or respite services. Ordinarily, respite care is designed for those whose health needs fit into traditional assisted living or memory care, but offerings vary widely – so be sure to ask. They’ll work with you to schedule a consultation to discuss your loved one’s unique needs and preferences. And in times like these, you can expect a health pre-screening for the safety of long-term community residents.
And how often can a caregiver ask for respite care? As often as you want! The whole family will benefit from the true confidence and peace of mind that comes from knowing their loved one is in good hands. But the perks aren’t just for the senior’s family members – older adults can take advantage of luxurious amenities, delicious dining and thoughtful services to rest, recuperate and have fun.
SEE THE DIFFERENCE CARNEGIE VILLAGE CAN MAKE
When at-home caregiving becomes overwhelming, respite care could be the helping hand you need. When your loved one stays at Carnegie Village, they’ll be surrounded by support from compassionate caregivers in a comfortable, cozy community that will make them feel welcomed, centered and relaxed. Thanks to our well-regarded assisted living and memory care services, your family will have unmatched confidence that your loved one is in good hands.
To learn more about Carnegie Village, serving Belton and the south Kansas City area, visit this page or call 816-331-7848 today.