22 May Avoiding Caregiver Burnout:
Tips to make caregiving easier and save time…
Almost One-Third of Adults in North America are Caregivers
There are the everyday heroes in our families and in our communities. In the U.S, one-third of all U.S households provide unpaid care for someone else*. In Canada, 28% of Canadians (aged 15 and up) are caregivers to someone with a mental health condition, disability or aging needs**. Most caregivers are taking care of their aging parents or in-laws and most are aged 45 to 64, which means the majority are probably also working full-time jobs and raising children. That is a lot to take on.
Caregiver Heroes are Human
We need to remember that heroes are human and can be susceptible to caregiver burnout. The stress of keeping it all balanced – making sure their mother or father is eating properly, taking their medication at the right times, monitoring any illnesses and keeping their own lives in order – can take a toll on a caretakers own health and well-being.
Ask for Help
Many caregivers don’t ask for help for a variety of reasons. There is a lot of help out there including local home care agencies. Often times, friends or other family members don’t offer because they think the caregiver has it all under control. If you are a caregiver, don’t try to do it all and if you know one, do something nice like cook a few meals for the freezer, walk the dog or babysit the kids to give them a break.
Exercise and Sleep
You can’t take care of someone else without taking care of yourself first. Take the time to exercise and sleep.
Simple things like freezing meals, de-cluttering your parent’s home and setting up a task calendar with your network of helpers are essential to reducing stress. Don’t forget to book time off for yourself!
Technology can help, but it can also be a burden if it’s not specifically designed for caregiving. For example, the Claris Companion was developed to help ease the stress of care giving while increasing communication with the person receiving care. It’s a simple in-home communication device for your loved one that’s managed remotely by caregivers from any computer, tablet or smartphone.
If the telephone is your loved one’s only means of communication, then you know how time consuming and cumbersome this can be. But with little or no computer experience, your loved one can send you messages with the touch of one button to let you know how they’re doing. They will receive reminders when to take their medication and you can receive an alert if they didn’t. You can also quickly send email and text, photos, and event reminders, schedule regular “check-ins” and soon video chat from anywhere. Everything that just pops-up on the Companion screen in large text so you know your loved one received your notification.
Caregiving Alerts Take the Worry Away
Claris Companion can automatically generate alerts sent to your cell phone or email if anything is out of the ordinary such as missed medications, treatments, or check-ins. Alerts can be tailored for specific family members or home care workers to follow-up before an adverse event occurs. This way you can easily share the care, make sure everyone is coordinated and have a little more peace of mind.
Watch for the signs of burnout in the caregivers in your life. Life’s heroes are only human after all.