ARE YOU A CAREGIVER? ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM CAREGIVER BURNOUT?
A caregiver is anyone who provides care for another person in need; such as a child, an aging parent, a spouse, friend, neighbor, etc. One in six people who care for the elderly/disabled are family members.
Caregiver burnout is a state of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion. Caregiving is self sacrificing. The vast majority of caregivers often provide assistance without any formal training, yet there is a high expectation that these caregivers will provide exceptional care in the home as well as in a medical care setting. Along with this, caregivers are usually not compensated for their own time and often neglect their own personal needs. Caregiver burnout includes significant physical, financial, and emotional effort. This effort can cause the caregiver’s health and quality of life to be compromised.
COMMON CAREGIVER TASKS
- Preparing meals
- Housekeeping tasks
- Medication Management
- Personal Hygiene
- Yard Maintenance
- Attending medical appointments
TOP TEN SYMPTOMS OF CAREGIVER BURNOUT
- Social Withdrawal
- Lack of Concentration
- Health Issues
HOW DO WE CARE FOR OUR CAREGIVERS? Care for yourself first
- Care for yourself first
- See your primary physician
- Identify personal barriers: “if I don’t do it, no one will.” Accept help when it is offered.
- Reduce personal stress
- Set goals
- Seek solutions
- Ask for and accept help
- Talk with your physician regularly
- Make time for yourself: warm bath, reading, movie, etc.
HELP IS AVAILABLE
An Elder Care Coordinator has specific skills and knowledge to assist caregivers in attaining the highest quality of life, given their circumstances. An Elder Care Coordinator will:
- Answer questions, provide support, and clarify numerous issues
- Help caregivers identify care problems and assist in solving them
- Assist families in identifying and arranging proper care, whether in the home, in a facility, or in the hospital
- Coordinate with medical and health providers
- Help with coordinating transfer and transportation of an older person to or from a care facility
- Guiding the family through the maze of long term care issues
- Call for and attend care meeting in facilities to meet the needs of the caregivers
- Advocate for the families
An Elder Care Coordinator functions as the point of contact for the family and assists in coordinating services to help with care. As caregivers begin their journeys through the long term care system, it is helpful for them to have a supportive and knowledgeable advocate to assist every step of the way.