Caring for yourself while taking care of a loved one is important. But, how many caregivers take time out for themselves?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 25% of American adults currently provide care to a person with a long-term illness or disability. These caregivers are often family members or friends who perform their work unpaid, sometimes for years.
Providing care to those in need is a generous act, but it can also make great physical and emotional demands on you. The Pennsylvania Department of Aging reports that our state has the fourth-highest percentage of residents over age 60. So, even if you aren’t a caregiver, you likely know someone who is. Below, we discuss how you can prevent burnout when taking care of a loved one for extended periods.
The caregivers serving Warren County, PA and the surrounding areas at Senior Helpers of Warren understand and empathize with you. Here’s their advice:
Access Respite Care
Providing senior care can be rewarding. Knowing that your loved one can depend on you adds a sense of purpose to life. However, it’s also very normal to feel tired and experience compassion fatigue. Acting as a caregiver is challenging, so you shouldn't feel guilty if you feel like you need a break. Taking some time to rest and recharge is vital for all caregivers, and there are several ways to access respite care.
The National Respite Network can help you locate respite programs near you, and there are special programs available if the person you are caring for is a veteran. If you're in the Warren County area, Senior Helpers has you covered. Our caring, knowledgeable staff is always available and just a phone call away.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you're acting as a caregiver for a loved one, it's a good idea to let your doctor know. He or she can monitor you for signs of anxiety or depression. When necessary, your doctor can recommend respite care. The PACE program is covered by Medicare and Medicaid and provides, among many things, caregiver training and support. You can contact your Medicare office to see what programs are available in your area.
Get Outside Help
You don't have to care for your loved one alone. Let your friends and family members know what you're going through, and don't be shy about reaching out for additional support.
If you have an event to attend or if you need a few hours to yourself, Senior Helpers is here for you. We offer various in-home care services, such as respite care, and we are happy to help your loved ones. If you live in the Warren County area, don't hesitate to reach out and hear about the ways we can help or schedule a free in-home assessment.
Utilize Educational Resources
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging has a fantastic family caregiver webinar series, where you can watch videos produced by medical professionals and field experts on aging. These videos cover topics on caregiving, self care, and legal issues. They can be valuable resources for anyone who is taking care of a loved one.
Remember that taking some time away is important, and relying on respite care is a helpful way to prevent burnout.
There are many ways to get the help you need, but the simplest thing you can do today is to contact us. We understand your struggles, and if you're in Warren County, Russell, Youngsville, or one of our other service areas, we'd love to hear from you and show you how we can help.