Are you taking care of your elderly mom or dad who has recently been diagnosed with dementia? It can be extremely stressful to manage the daily life of an elderly relative regardless of their health, but dementia brings an additional level of worry and concern. As your aging parent requires more attention and increased care, it’s easy for you to get burned out from the chronic stress. So how do you provide excellent care and still retain balance in your life?
It’s important to recognize the symptoms of caregiver burnout so that you can take steps to reduce it before it becomes too overwhelming. Some of the most common early symptoms are mood swings, increased irritability, insomnia, and unhealthy eating habits. As the stress continues to grow, you may notice a weaker immune system, anxiety, social withdrawal, substance abuse, and depression. You may be in denial and can’t even recognize the symptoms within yourself. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, your aging loved one with dementia will suffer, too.
It’s far too tempting for family caregivers to shoulder the burden of dementia care alone instead of bringing in help. Of course, then you feel guilty about taking time away from your aging loved one. This behavior is the perfect backdrop to caregiver burnout. You can’t do everything yourself, and if you try it, you’ll end up with too much stress and poor health.
The first thing to do to avoid caregiver burnout is to commit to exercise and a healthy diet. If your body is sick and unhealthy, you won’t be much good to anyone. Your body also needs plenty of sleep and little to no alcohol to avoid caregiver burnout. Also, enlist the help of family members and good friends to stay with your aging relative for a short time while you go out.
More than anything else, hiring an elderly care provider is the best way to spare yourself from caregiver burnout. Elderly care providers have experience in assisting aging adults with physical and cognitive health issues. They can help with housekeeping, laundry, and meal preparation. For seniors that need help with self-care, elderly care providers can aid with bathing, dressing, grooming, and hygiene. When your aging relative with dementia is being cared for by a trained professional you can take time to do things important to you, from errands to time with friends and family, to some well-earned alone time.
You can’t jeopardize your own health, by doing so much that you develop caregiver burnout. Instead, hire an elderly care provider to give you some respite. When you are at your healthiest, your elderly relative will benefit from all the love, care, and attention that you can provide them.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Northbrook, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.