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How to Prevent Caregiver Burnout

Posted: 2/19/2019 11:24 AM by Interim HealthCare
National Caregivers Day, celebrated on the third Friday in February, is a day to celebrate the men and women who dedicate their lives to serving those who need extra help or are in hospice care.

Caregiving careers are critical positions that require extensive training, along with considerable amounts of empathy, compassion and caring. Truly, professional caregivers are some of the most incredible "givers" out there, and we are proud to have thousands of them helping people across the U.S. as part of the Interim HealthCare team.

With such a powerful, hands-on and at times, emotional career; however, burnout can sometimes occur.

Recognize the signs and symptoms of caregiver burnout

Some of the most common signs you are suffering from caregiver burnout include:

* Unusual fatigue
* Anxiety
* Depression
* Strained personal relationships
* Lower immune response
* Potential health issues like high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes

How to prevent caregiver burnout

To the men and women who dedicate themselves to the care and service of others who need you, we salute you. Caregiver burnout may be common, but it is not a foregone conclusion. Here are some steps you can take to prevent caregiver burnout in your home care career:

1. Prioritize balance. The risk of caregiver burnout is often higher for those who regularly pick up extra shifts, stay late, and generally take less time for personal hobbies or simply to relax. Finding the right work/life balance is critical. Caregivers need downtime with family and friends and to pursue their hobbies and interests. 

2. Look for patterns. Do you generally find that certain days or tasks are more likely to lead to symptoms of burnout? Identifying any potential triggers is an important part of preventing caregiver burnout. When you know what is most likely to cause burnout, you can create new patterns or even simply mentally prepare for those tasks so that they don't weigh so heavily on your mind and health. 

3. Consider altering your career path. Sometimes, burnout can be a sign that you are ready for a new challenge. Perhaps you are ready for new certifications, or a more senior-level position. Or maybe your employer isn't meeting your needs and it's time to find a new caregiver job. 

4. Take care of your own health. Although you may spend your days taking care of patients' health, prioritizing your own health should be at the top of your to-do list. If you're not taking care of yourself, you aren't able to take care of your family, friends, and clients! Be sure to eat a diet consisting of healthy foods, and make time for regular exercise. Meditation and yoga are also great ways to combat the effects of stress.
 

 

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