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Care for the Caregiver, where a personal nurse can help!

Are you caring for a loved one and experiencing stress, fatigue, or maybe even mental and emotional exhaustion?  Have you felt that you do not have time to focus on your own needs, because you are too busy focusing on the needs of those around you? You may be suffering from something called caregiver fatigue. A personal nurse is the perfect solution to preventing caregiver fatigue.

What is caregiver fatigue?

Caregiver fatigue, also called caregiver burnout, is a state of emotional, physical, or  mental exhaustion. It occurs when a caregiver is focused on helping those around them, but do not receive the help that they need in order to function as they usually do. 

What are the signs of burnout?

The signs of caregiver fatigue/burnout are very similar to those of stress and anxiety and/or depression. Some signs include:

  • Exhaustion
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Frequent crying or feeling sad
  • Lack of interest in social activities or hobbies
  • Changes in weight or appetite (increased or decreased)
  • Physical symptoms like headaches, body aches, nausea, or frequently getting sick

How do I combat caregiver fatigue?

Join a support group: Support groups can give you a place to discuss your feelings and provide advice, encouragement, and feelings that you are not alone. Support groups can create connections and friendships with people that have similar issues.

Seek community resources such as churches or volunteer groups: Churches, community groups and volunteer groups can help provide a community of friendship and support. Organized meetings can create a place to be each week that is for the caregiver. Other community resources can include meal delivery services or classes related to stress management or health. There is a national program that lists many community support programs here.

Hire a personal nurse: A personal nurse can come to your home and provide care, nursing services, friendship, and compassion. They can give a caregiver a much-needed break and be a source of support in healthcare needs. They can help family and caregivers develop a plan of care that may assist the caregiver in a sense of control and make the care more manageable. Personal nurses can assist with assessing current and future needs as well as care coordination.

Make a health plan for yourself: Set a menu for the week. Schedule a few 30-minute time frames to exercise. These can help with feelings of stress and anxiety, increase energy, and increase overall health. Many caregivers find it difficult to find time to leave the home. They may benefit from things like in-home yoga, exercise tapes, body weight exercises, or a short walk around the neighborhood.

Conclusion

Caring for a loved one in their time of need can be a challenge and be physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding. Caregivers may often sacrifice their own well-being in order to continue to meet the needs of their loved one. Sometimes in order to meet those needs, they feel that they must sacrifice their own health. After this repeated sacrifice a caregiver may start to experience signs of fatigue or burnout. It is important to remember that you are not alone. Help is out there. Seek resources and support either in the form of a support group, the community, or an in-home personal nurse.

A caregiver that receives the care they need themselves has the greatest ability to care for their loved ones. 

Best of Health,

Nurse Ashely

References: 

Cleveland Clinic. (2019, January 13). Caregiver Burnout. Cleveland Clinic.

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9225-caregiver-burnout

Mayo Clinic. (2020, December 16). Stress Management. Healthy Lifestyle.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/caregiver-stress/art-20044784

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