Tips on how to take care of yourself
Ever since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the healthcare sector has been given the spotlight and people have gained a much broader understanding of the importance of caregivers. However, even after this time, many people do not understand the full extent of what it means to be a caregiver and the huge impact carers have on the people that they support.
At Visiting Angels, we put our caregivers at the very centre of the business and make sure that they are happy with their work and feel valued by their employer. We truly believe that caregivers deserve to be cared for too and our main aim is to support caregivers with everything it is they need.
Caregiver stress and burnout refers to when you overstretch your physical and emotional limits when delivering the highest quality care to someone. Providing care to someone requires a lot of commitment, time, effort, and energy with little to no help from others, and sometimes, caregivers have little to no days off. As rewarding as providing high-quality care is to another individual, it is also important to acknowledge how mentally challenging little to no days off can be.
With this thought in mind, we have compiled a few tips on how to prevent caregiver burnout.
What are the symptoms of caregiver burnout?
- Physical and emotional fatigue.
- Feeling hopeless.
- Anxiety or depression.
- Losing your empathy for the person you’re caring for.
- Increased headaches or migraines.
- Feeling like your whole life revolves around caregiving and nothing else.
- Disrupted sleep or insomnia (because you are overworking).
If you are experiencing two or more of the symptoms mentioned above, chances are that you may be burnt out.
Recovering from caregiver burnout
The most important step for recovering from burnout is to accept that you have limitations. Accepting that you have limitations can be difficult as it can make you feel like you have failed as a caregiver. However, it is more damaging to endlessly push your limits and burn yourself out to the point where you cannot handle it anymore.
You need to remember that attending to your own needs whilst being the best caregiver to the person you are caring for is not selfish and is doable. This means that you are committed to fulfilling the role of a caregiver in a healthy way. Investing in your own health results in the well-being of the person you are caring for.
4 Tips on how to prevent yourself from burning out
- Talk to someone – whether it is a family member, friend or even a caregiver support group, there is always someone to listen to you and someone who can empathise with you. There are plenty of caregiving support groups, Age UK have regular local support groups that carers can attend and meet people who are in a similar situation.
Click here to view Age UK’s caregiver support groups!
- Set realistic goals for yourself – you need to accept that you cannot do everything. Rather than trying to get as many hours of care done at once, it would be better to determine how many hours you can actually do and commit to. You would need to create a balance between your personal life and your work life.
- Delegate your unimportant daily day-to-day tasks to your family members – small errands such as cooking, cleaning, washing or shopping can be delegated to your family members. Having help with these basic tasks will help you free up your time when you are at home and you can actually have the time to yourself and rest.
- Take care of yourself – looking after yourself emotionally and physically is so important. Make your favourite meal, buy your favourite perfume, take yourself out for dinner; treat yourself! Do whatever it takes to reconnect with yourself without letting guilt hold you back. Remember, investing in yourself results in providing the highest quality care for the person you are looking after.
How do we at Visiting Angels look after our caregivers?
Visiting Angels is a Carer centric company. We put our caregivers at the centre of the business and make sure that they are happy with their work and feel valued by their employer.
Quality care is very important and cannot be achieved without compassionate carers. We support our Angel carers with every possible thing. We offer them moral support and are available for them 24/7.
We constantly provide the highest quality training for our carers and ensure that our caregivers are familiar with all sorts of scenarios so that they are comfortable and confident in making decisions without feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
We always encourage people to become carers within our company as we fully cover the cost of their training, offer them 24/7 support and make sure that they are constantly at the centre of our attention.