Aug 8, 2017 by Katie Fielmann
WebMD defines caregiver burnout as "a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude -- from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned. Burnout can occur when caregivers don't get the help they need, or if they try to do more than they are able." Statistically, three out of four long-term family caregivers will experience some degree of caregiver burnout with many developing chronic physical and mental health conditions.
The good news is that there is hope. In fact, avoiding and even reversing the symptoms of caregiver burnout is quite simple, on paper.
The key to avoiding caregiver burnout is the same as reversing the symptoms if one should experience them: take some time off to create a positive care-life balance. See – simple, on paper. Sadly, many caregivers become so wrapped up in the day-to-day challenges of caregiving that even thinking about a day off is a luxury they don't have. Others don't think they need a break until it is too late, and by that time the symptoms of fatigue, hopelessness, and depression have set in. They need somebody to help pull them out.
Respite care is a specific type of short-term care designed to give family caregivers a break from their day-to-day duties. There are no right or wrong reasons for taking a break and there are no limits placed on what a caregiver can do with their time off. Many caregivers use the time to take care of their own personal appointments, address their own medical or mental health needs, or spend some much-needed time with friends. Others may simply sleep. In the end, the most important part of a respite break is that the caregiver gets recharged, rejuvenated, and comes back relaxed with a positive outlook.
For respite care to be successful, family caregivers must be able to trust that their senior loved one is in safe, capable hands. In fact, the most common reason caregivers give for not taking time off is that they cannot afford to take time off from caregiving because their senior loved one needs them. Comfort Keepers respite care providers are specifically trained to address a senior's needs while the family caregiver is away. From light housekeeping and laundry to meal preparation, medication management, transportation, and personal care, Comfort Keepers respite care has your senior loved one covered. They even specialize in dementia and Alzheimer's care.
In short, caregiver burnout is a very serious and dangerous condition for the caregiver and the senior. The cure and prevention are the same: a positive care-life balance. With Comfort Keepers respite care, this balance can be achieved while your loved one remains safely and happily in the comfort of their own home.