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Being a caregiver is a noble endeavor. Whether you are a caregiver by profession or taking care of a family member, we know at times it is not easy, and you could suffer from burnout. According to Pew Research Center, 40 million adults in North America are taking care of someone who is chronically ill, disabled, or aging.

Many times, once you are feeling signs of burnout, your brain could be suffering a psychological condition brought on by unrelieved stress. Here are a few warning signs that you might be feeling burnt out.

Warning Signs of Caregiver Burnout

  • You are always tired. 
  • You have an issue with sleep-you either can’t sleep or have difficulty waking up. 
  • Weight loss or weight gain due to changes in eating habits 
  • A feeling of hopelessness 
  • Neglecting your physical or emotional needs 
  • Not spending time doing things you once enjoyed 
  • Mood swings 
  • Low immunity caused by stress 
  • Beginning to get irritable with your patient or loved one 
  • Physical problems like headaches or stomach aches 
  • Anxiety about your future 

Noticing these signs might upset you, especially if you genuinely care for the person you are helping, but you need to realize that you are only human. When your needs are not being met, burnout is bound to happen. Burnout does not mean you love them any less. It just means you need a break. Here are a few ways to avoid burnout as a caregiver.

How to Avoid Burnout as a Caregiver

  • Take care of yourself by making sure you eat a healthy diet and exercise. If possible, talk to a doctor about any sleep issues so you can get a good night’s rest each night. 
  • Ask for help. No one can do everything. There are just not enough hours in the day, and it does not make you a terrible caregiver to ask for help. In fact, it makes you a better caregiver when you know your limitations. 
  • Give yourself permission to get out of the house and enjoy yourself. Whether it’s getting a manicure or seeing a movie, invest in your happiness. 
  • Check with your work regarding family leave benefits. This could help add more hours to your day. 
  • Join a support group. Many other people are going through similar struggles and communicating with them can drastically improve your mood. 
  • If you are a family caregiver, check into hiring a nurse from a company like Home Instead. They have nurses on call that can come and sit with your loved one to give you time to run errands etc.  

At Next Day Access, one of our top goals is to be there for caregivers. Whether helping you decide on a wheelchair ramp or installing accessibility devices like grab bars in the bathroom, we exist to make life easier for you and your loved one.

We offer several different accessibility devices and mobility equipment to help you keep your loved one safe and comfortable as well as items that help put less strain on you, like patient lifts and walk-in bathtubs. We urge you to explore our website and see for yourself the many solutions we can provide for you and your loved one’s needs. Contact us today!

Serving as a caregiver for a loved one from a long distance is not easy. Despite the distance, you want to ensure your loved one receives the best care. Here is some advice on how to ensure your loved one is receiving quality care despite the distance.

Get as much information as possible.

Experienced caregivers encourage you to learn as much as you can about your friend or family member’s diagnosis, the medicine they need, and the available resources. This information can aid you in understanding what they are dealing with, their prognosis, anticipating the length of the illness, preventing any crisis, and assisting in their healthcare management. Knowing all their healthcare needs will make talking to their doctor easier. Written permission to receive your loved one’s medical and financial information is vital. 

Once gathered, keep all the information organized in an online spreadsheet or folder. The information you will need includes all the essential information about medical care, contact numbers, social services, and their financial situation. Make sure to keep the information up to date and share copies with other trusted caregivers.

Set time aside to visit your loved one.

While you are in town, use this time wisely to gather any needed documents or things your loved one may need. It is a good idea to make a list of what they need before you come to town. For example, does your loved one need new winter clothes? Is their television on the fritz? Create an agenda for your trip and a list of what you need to bring. Remember your loved one likely misses you and would like to spend time with you when you are in town. You can take them to a worship service, play a game of cards, or watch a movie. Overall, just spending quality time together is sure to delight and revive your loved one.

Stay in touch with caregivers and doctors.

The needs of aging parents vary depending on their mobility levels. Once you have an established caregiver, stay in touch with them. You should also keep in touch with your loved one’s doctor. Make it clear to the doctor you would like a report after every doctor’s visit. You can also request occasional teleconferences with your loved one’s healthcare team. Your loved one can also be assigned a social worker who will help you stay abreast of any situations that require decisions on your part. 

Make sure your loved one knows how to get in touch with you.

If your loved one is in a nursing home, make sure they have a personal line for calls. It is a good idea to have your name and phone number written in big and bold letters on their dry erase board. If your loved one is aging at home, you may consider purchasing a cell phone. Spend time teaching them how to use it and make sure they know how to reach you by either writing your number on a large board or saving it on their phone. Also, give them detailed instructions on how to find your contact information on their phone. 

Find resources for your loved ones in their community.

You can find local senior centers by doing an internet search. Check with the Area Agency on Aging or the Eldercare Locator in their communities. These groups can recommend several helpful resources.  

Make sure your loved one’s home is safely set up.

Whether they need a walk-in tub or a wheelchair ramp, we at Next Day Access have an assortment of mobility products to help those with accessibility concerns. We offer many different products to keep your loved ones safe and comfortable. Our goals are to help those with accessibility concerns and to give peace of mind to caregivers that their loved one’s homes are safe. 

Love is in the air this February. On Valentine’s Day, we celebrate our sweethearts. This Valentine’s Day, consider showing love and appreciation for the caregivers in your life. Many caregivers work diligently to make your life more accessible and comfortable. They deserve to feel noticed. Here are five suggestions on how to show your caregiver love.

Cook for Them

Set up a meal delivery for your caregiver. Sometimes after a long day, a cooked meal can be the greatest gift. With meal delivery services like Hello Fresh or Home Chef, your caregiver has all the ingredients delivered to the door to make a scrumptious yummy dinner.

Clean for Them

Order a “Maid for a Day.” If you work several hours a week, laundry and dishes are likely to pile up. If you hire a maid for your caregiver, they will enjoy coming home to a clean house. If your caregiver lives with you, you will be able to spend more quality time with your caregiver. 

Self-Care Day

Encourage your caregiver to spend time on “self-care.” Self-care can be as simple as reading a favorite book, taking a nice bubble bath, or putting on a facemask. However, if you notice your caregiver seems overwhelmed lately, maybe treat them to a day at a spa, getting their hair done, or getting a pampering massage. 

Go Out on an Adventure!

Another lovely way to show your caregiver love could be taking them out for the day. Perhaps you could grab lunch see a movie, or visit a new exhibit at a museum. The gift of your time and an outing together goes a long way.

Write a Letter

Most of the suggestions mentioned cost money, but if you are on a budget, you can still show your caregiver love. You could spend some time writing a letter telling them how much they mean to you. You do not have to spend a large amount of money to show love. 

At Next Day Access, we have the pleasure of working with caregivers regularly. We notice all the hard work caregivers do. We believe caregivers deserve every bit of love shown to them this month and every day. If you need products to help you get through your day safer, comfortably, and independently, contact us. 

Be a caregiver can be a thankless job and finding the balance between your duties and your own wellbeing can be a challenge. Here are three tips to help make your responsibilities a little less stressful.

Self-Care is Important, Too

Caring for another person that relies on you to assist in the most basic functions can take its toll. To be the best caregiver, you must first give care to yourself. Make time to take part in activities you enjoy, like a book club or fitness class. Take frequent breaks to prevent burnout and be aware of signs of depression.

It never hurts to seek out help for yourself during this season of life. On average, a caregiver will spend 4.3 years providing care for a loved one and will spend 21 hours a week providing that care. If you’re working, that can mean a 60+ hour week. Strive to find that balance to take care of yourself.

Find Tools the Right Tools

Certain tools and aids can help make your job a little easier and help your body bear less of the brunt. If you’re caring for someone in a wheelchair, a ramp may be necessary to help get them in and out of the house. You can customize our ramps to meet specific needs.

Grab bars are a great addition to assist in the bathroom. Add them to the bathtub or near the toilet. They can provide a sense of security and support if you can’t be there to assist your loved one getting up on in and out of the tub.

Make trips to the doctor a little more hassle-free by adding a vehicle lift to your car. This addition to your vehicle can make getting in and out of the car more comfortable and less stressful for your loved one.

Ask for Help

It can be hard to ask for help or even accept someone’s offer to help. But allowing someone else to assist with some of the responsibility, even if it’s temporary, can help you find the time to care for yourself.

Being a caregiver can be isolating. Seek out other caregivers through support groups. It can be helpful to relate with others dealing with similar situations as yourself.

At the end of the day, you deserve credit! Don’t forget to give yourself credit for what you’re doing – it’s a tough role to be in. What are some tips you would give to caregivers out there?

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