Coping with Memory Care: Finding Peace for Caregivers

This article couldn’t be more timely for what is happening to families during the pandemic. We are hearing from our inquiries that caregiver burnout is happening at an all-time high. Families are struggling with their own work, life balance with working from home, change in what school may look like for their kids and caring for their senior loved one. The pandemic has changed the way a lot of things look in everyone’s daily life and the hard truth is folks have had to put a plan in place to cope. Some of it is not working and ends up exhausting them and causing care giver burn out. Something must give. Pomeroy Living is here to support, and this article gives us all some great tips and advice.

Stress comes with responsibilities when you work as a caregiver. We know how hard it is to prevent burnout from taking a toll on your mind and body. But worry no more, as there are multiple ways to give yourself the needed time and space to avoid burnout. Whether you use a respite care service or want to join a caregiver support group, you will get all the help you need to avoid the chances of burnout at Pomeroy.

What is caregiver burnout? 

Burnout can develop when caregivers offer help above their capabilities or if they don’t get the assistance at the time of need, financially or physically. As a result, some caregivers may experience a change in their attitude. While others might feel guilty spending so much time on themselves instead of their elderly or ill loved ones.

Caregiver burnout may also trigger depression, anxiety, stress, and fatigue, which could multiply its effects without even sensing it. That’s why you should learn how to prevent caregiver burnout and minimize its impact.

How do you avoid caregiver burnout? 

We have discussed multiple ways you can use to manage caregiver burnout.

  • Talk to someone you trust

Talking and sharing your frustration and feelings with someone you trust helps you unload the burden or stress on your mind. The person could be your close friend, neighbor, co-worker, or family member.

Remember that the longer you dwell on those thoughts and worries, the more paralyzed you will feel. So, it’s better to let go of those worries to reduce the amount of stress or anxiety you experience while working as a caregiver.

  • Set achievable goals

Nobody is perfect, and you should acknowledge that sometimes it’s better to ask for help rather than do it on your own. You may find local organizations or places of worship that offer memory care support groups to family members or caregivers of those diagnosed with diseases like Alzheimer’s or cancer.

Besides support groups, you may get access to services like respite care from these organizations, which allows you to take the needed time and space to focus on your mental health.

  • Take frequent breaks

Of course, you are trying to take care of someone else, but don’t you ever forget the importance of your own mental health. We understand there are lots of things to stress about during your work as a caregiver.

But when you take a break, even for 5 minutes, you should put down the glass of burden, stress, or worries that you carry all day. This will help minimize the stress and allow you to care for older adults in a better way.

  • Benefit from respite care services 

Whenever you sense a feeling of exhaustion, depression, or anxiety, you should take advantage of respite care services, as they will send someone to take your shift at work so that you can prevent yourself from experiencing burnout. This temporary break can range from a few hours to a short stay (up to two weeks) in a senior care facility.

  • Seek help from professionals 

Talking about your emotional and physical problems with trained counselors like clergy members, social workers, or therapists can help you navigate those feelings and allow you to learn how to cope with caregiver burnout.

  • Join a caregiver support group.

Sharing your experiences and feelings with like-minded people who are going through the same situation would help in navigating helpful resources, managing stress, and reducing the sense of isolation and frustration. Joining a support group also helps learn from others’ experiences and adapt to those changes that may occur in the future.

Where can you seek help for caregiver burnout? 

If you’re already stressed out or exhausted from being a caregiver, then you should consider Pomeroy’s respite care and other caregiver resources. This will ensure you get the help you need to prevent caregiver burnout and help you cope with the stress that comes with caregiver responsibilities. If you would like to learn more about our respite care and other resources for seniors and caregivers, please visit our website or email us at info@pomeroyliving.com.

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Manda Ayoub

Manda is a nurse and a licensed nursing home Administrator in the state of Michigan. She has worked through all aspects of the post-acute healthcare industry, holding various positions including Infection Control Nurse, In-service Director, Quality Assurance Director, Risk Manager and a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator.