Many of our clients provide care for elderly loved ones; some even providing constant, around the clock care. Care giving is a demanding, overwhelming, and often grossly under-appreciated job. In addition to giving up their own time and interests, caregivers have to watch someone they love slowly regress and lose the ability to do even the most basic of tasks. Often, the senior being cared for eventually loses their ability to even recognize the people around them… including the person giving constant loving care. For all of these reasons, it’s very common for caregivers to experience depression and fatigue… caregiver burnout.
According to this article in the New York Times, depression and burnout does not have to be the plight of all caregivers, especially if you know the symptoms and how to combat them. And the good news is that just about all the preventative strategies listed in the article are easy and readily available… the hard part for caregivers is valuing their own time and mental health enough to take advantage of them.
There is a saying that hardships shared are halved, and joys shared are doubled; this is as true of care giving as it is for anything else. Many caregivers are reluctant to ask for help, but sharing the burden could save you from caregiver burnout. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
More information about caregiver support and resources can be found at the following websites: