Friday, September 6, 2013

Managing Caregiver Burnout and Depression: Protecting Your Mental Health

Caregiving is a highly rewarding task, particularly if you are looking out for your elderly loved one. But when it comes to eldercare, Burlington-Greensboro professionals know that the heavy responsibilities associated with this activity can prove damaging to your mental health. Caregiver burnout and depression are quite common among family members and professionals who work to ensure that elderly individuals are safe, healthy, and have everything they need to live the highest quality life possible. Eldercare professionals offer the following tips for maintaining positive mental health so that you can best take care of your loved one.

Take Advantage of Respite Care 
Respite care occurs when a caregiver needs a few days or weeks off and has another individual take over the care of an elderly loved one during this time period. Whether you call upon a family member, friend, or professional, it is important to give yourself a break as needed in order to keep yourself from becoming burned out.

Talk to Professionals
Caregiving is a very demanding task, one that forces you to face the mortality of your loved one—and yourself—head on in some cases. This is an incredibly emotional experience, and talking to a professional can help you sort through those emotions in a healthy manner. If you feel as though you are starting to develop depression, or if you want to prevent this from happening, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with a professional to keep yourself healthy. Remember, you cannot take the best care of your loved one if you don't first take care of yourself.

Don't Abandon Your Own Life
All too often individuals dedicate every waking hour to their elderly loved ones, leaving them socially isolated. It is important that you keep up with friends and other family members and that you take time to get out of the house and enjoy their company. Make sure you engage in your favorite hobbies to keep your own life going as you help your senior do the same.

Ultimately, caregiver burnout and depression are natural responses to the responsibilities of eldercare. But with the right approach, you can address and prevent these issues before they become serious concerns.

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