These days, caregivers wear many hats. They may have small children, pets, a career and care for a loved one with dementia all at the same time. Not only is this difficult and stressful, but it can also leave them feeling burnt out and overtired. This is a common problem within the sandwich generation, and unfortunately, when they are juggling so much, it often means that time for them is what gets given up. Robin Crum, Executive Director of YourLife™ of Pensacola, a Memory Care community in Pensacola, FL, states that the number of caregivers suffering from caregiver stress and burnout is overwhelming. “A lot of people don’t know they are dealing with caregiver stress, in fact, many people deny it,” she says. “Most caregivers think that they need to handle everything on their own and that asking for help or needing assistance makes them weaker, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s important to recognize the signs of caregiver stress and burnout in order to help you fix it and begin to feel better. Some of the most common signs include anger, anxiety, depression, exhaustion, withdrawal, irritability, inability to sleep, lack of concentration and even health problems. These can all be prevented by finding balance and effective ways to manage stress.”
Find Balance as a Dementia Caregiver
Caregiving is difficult enough as it is. If you begin to notice any of the signs above, try these techniques to help you try to find balance.
- Ask for help. Although it may be difficult, please ask for help. Whether your spouse takes care of dinner for the night, your siblings pick up prescriptions and go grocery shopping or someone stays with your loved one with dementia so you can have some time off, it’s crucial to ask for help. When others ask if there’s something they can do, be honest and give them the opportunity to assist. The more specific you are, the more likely they are to offer up help next time, as well. If you have siblings, consider splitting tasks and errands among them, especially if you’re the primary caregiver. If your siblings live further away, ask them to come visit so you can take some time off. If you have to, hire someone to stay with your loved one for a few hours per day as well.
- Take some time for yourself. This is extremely important. Whether you need to catch up on housework, want to spend some time with your children, get some work done that you’re behind on or simply want to relax, taking time to do what you enjoy has so many benefits on stress. If you miss exercising, take a yoga class to help clear your mind. Read a book. Spend some time outdoors, the possibilities are endless.
- Attend a support group. Many caregivers think they are the only ones going through this. Fortunately, you aren’t! There are plenty of people who are facing a similar situation as you are. Try attending a support group where you can meet others, share stories, learn more tips on how to better care for your loved one with dementia and makes some friends along the way.
- Spend time with friends and family. One of the first things that happens when caregivers become overwhelmed and increasingly stressed out is that they stop hanging out with their friends, family members and other loved ones. Try to schedule some time where you can meet your friends and family for a meal, for coffee and just spend some time being you again.
If you are having trouble balancing caring for your family and your loved one, contact the team at YourLife™ of Pensacola. Our expert team would be happy to provide tips, advice, support and more to help guide you on your journey. To RSVP to a support group or to learn more about our respite care program, which can help give you a break, contact us today!
The Memory Care Your Loved One Deserves.
Offering the very best in Memory Care, YourLife™ of Pensacola was designed specifically with residents in mind. We’ve created a community where residents can define their own lifestyle, based on their preferences, needs and story, all while having the peace of mind of 24-hour support and the freedom to define their own lifestyles. Because we focus solely on Memory Care, all of our resources and attention are on catering to each resident’s needs while providing unequaled peace of mind for families. Our licensed nurses and YourLife™ Personal Care Specialists are on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide personally inspired care and support, no matter what your needs. With such dedicated care, our residents have the support they need to live as independently and engaged as possible. At YourLife™ of Pensacola, YourStory comes to life. Whether you want to enjoy our exclusive activities and YourStory programming, spend time exploring our services and amenities, relax in our easy-to-navigate Memory Care neighborhoods and living areas or try something new, the choice is entirely up to you. Contact us to learn more!