The level of care and compassion you provide for your loved one is priceless, as you selflessly place their needs ahead of your own. They feel safe and secure because you are always there for them, and other family members feel relieved, knowing that they are in good hands. However, your commitment comes at a price, which over time may become more evident to you than it does to others.
If you are the sole carer, it’s important to recognise the early signs of burnout so that you can seek some assistance or plan a well-deserved break. Your dedication can be physically, mentally and emotionally demanding, even if you are a born carer.
- Are you finding it hard to keep up with your own personal commitments?
- Do you sometimes feel stressed or overwhelmed with the responsibility?
- Do you feel emotionally or physically exhausted at the end of the day?
- Are you feeling less satisfaction or a sense of doubt in your ability?
- Are you starting to feel undervalued or unappreciated?
- Have you withdrawn from any normal social activity?
- Is your view of the situation less positive?
To help prevent carer burnout, it’s vital that you look after your own health and well-being first. You know it’s important to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, interact socially with friends and sleep well, but you struggle to find the time and you worry about feeling guilty. It’s a little like being advised by the flight attendants to place the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping others. This way, you can continue to provide the best care possible.
It’s OK to take a break
How would the rest of the family cope if you were no longer able to fulfil your carer role?
To help prevent carer burnout, Simply Helping offers a service called in-home Respite Care. Respite Care is ‘care for the carer’ that allows you to have some time for yourself without feeling guilty or worried about placing demands on other family members. It also allows your loved one to remain in the familiar surroundings of their own home where they feel safe and comfortable.
You may be surprised at how much a little Respite Care can help. If you could use a break, click here for more information.