Research in 2020 revealed that more than one in five Americans provide care to a family member. This is a 9.5 million increase from 2015! While family caregiving can be exceedingly rewarding, it is no doubt a challenging role to take on.
If you are a family caregiver, it's important to take care of yourself and to be aware of some of the signs and symptoms of impending burnout before you experience a breakdown. Let's take a look at simple ways you can stay attuned to your emotional and physical needs as a caregiver. Additionally, let’s review helpful and practical tips for avoiding burnout.
Self-care is a term that has come up often in the last few years. Self-care simply refers to actively protecting one's own well-being and health, especially during stressful situations. The emotional and physical demands of caring for a loved one suffering from a serious illness can be daunting. Here are some practical ways to prioritize self-care as a caregiver. Some of these are healthy practices that apply to anyone, while others are more specific to family caregivers.
- Eat a well-balanced diet and make sure to hydrate well.
- Exercise or go on brisk walks at least 3 times per week.
- Make quality sleep a priority.
- Listen to guided meditations or calming music.
- Share your feelings with a support group or other family members and friends.
- Be realistic about your daily to-do list, and don't overload it with too much.
- Accept support for household chores, meals, childcare, or grocery shopping.
- Look into respite care, whether from a professional or another family member.
- Find a few hours several times a week to do something you enjoy.
We understand that caregiving is hard. Sometimes the best option is an assisted living home because the level of care they need is above and beyond what we can give. There are many assisted living homes dedicated to Alzheimer's and dementia patients, where they specialize in memory care and senior care. HarborView Senior Assisted Living in Banker's Hill is one of those homes. The owners have had loved ones who needed memory care, so they created a place where people could be cared for and treated well.
Not only is HarborView Senior Assisted Living full of gentle, well-trained, and loving staff members, but it also sits on Banker's Hill so it has a gorgeous view of the bay so it’s near water, which is known to be calming. Research has shown that water can slow our brainwaves and calm our bodies. It can also unleash creativity. Living by the water can be therapeutic for someone with Alzheimer's or dementia. Introducing your loved one to a home where they have full-time care, meals cooked for them, laundry done, and safeguards in place allows you to rest easy, knowing they are well cared for.