Your Health: Tips to prevent caregiver burnout

If you’re not taking care of your own health, you won’t be in the best condition to take care of someone else’s.
Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 5:28 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - There are 53 million informal caregivers in the United States.

An informal caregiver is an unpaid person who is taking care of a spouse, partner, family member, friend or neighbor who has health problems and is unable to take care of themselves. However, 21% of these caregivers report their own health as fair or poor as a result of caregiving.

Taking care of a loved one with health problems is challenging.

“Caregiving can be a 24-hour a day role,” said Nicole Werner.

Which leaves no time for a caregiver to take care of themselves.

“I neglected myself 100%,” said Christine Nash. “I was down to a size four. My hair was matted. I wasn’t caring for myself at all.”

It is very common to experience caregiver burnout, where you are in a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion. In fact, 40% of caregivers report feeling emotionally strained. So, what can be done to prevent caregiver burnout?

“Don’t isolate yourself,” said Gail Morgan.

Join a support group with other caregivers and allow yourself to take breaks to get out of the house to visit friends or even pamper yourself.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

“Get your siblings or your family involved from the get-go,” said Naveena Jaspal.

Having more people taking part in the care means there are more people to share in the workload.

“Taking care of yourself is so important,” Nash said. “So, so important.”

Make sure you don’t skip your own doctor’s appointments. If you’re not taking care of your own health, you won’t be in the best condition to take care of someone else’s.

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