How To Cope With Caregiver Stress During Holidays

Signs of caregiver burnout:

How do you know that you are experiencing caregiver burnout? There are many things you may feel or notice about your behaviors that could point to experiencing caregiver burnout. Here are just a few signs to watch out for.

  • Feeling resentful
  • Feeling trapped
  • Being tired through lack of sleep
  • Poor appetite or overeating
  • Being physically exhausted
  • Feeling utterly drained of feeling
  • Feeling anxious

Tips To Avoid Caregiver Burnout:

  • Get some quality rest during your holiday break
  • Try to take time to exercise and take care of you
  • Get outside and into nature if possible. Have a pet you can take with you? Spending time with pets has been proven to help reduce stress levels. Take them with you!
  • Eat yummy food but try not to overindulge, your treats should be minimal

Be aware of over-consuming alcohol, oversleeping, not sleeping enough, or going overboard in your holiday comfort food. For more tips see our other blog post for more information about caregiver burnout.

Resources To Get Help For Caregivers

If your senior loved one needs regular care to the point where taking even a day or two off is next to impossible, there are a bunch of resources that provide help for caregivers such as yourself.

One option to consider in order for you to get a chance to have a break around a holiday or for other times when you need a little time for yourself, look into respite care services. Respite care is when you have a professional caregiver come to handle the tasks you usually perform for your loved one so that you can have a break. Services range from simply providing your loved one with a companion to keep them from getting lonely to housework help such as cooking and cleaning. Hire professional help to assist with personal care such as bathroom assistance. And finally, there are professional nursing aids you can hire to help with physical or mental health care services.

For a thorough list of resources, you can check out this article from AARP that has resources for caregivers. Need financial help in order to afford respite care for your senior loved one? Here are some financial resources to help you afford the care your senior needs.

How To Care For The Caregivers

Perhaps you are not the caregiver yourself, but  you employ someone who is a caregiver to an elder. If that’s the case, see our other blog post about how can you care for the caregiver.  

Get Help Without It Costing a Fortune

If you are in the position where you cannot afford to hire help, and you don’t have support to help give you a break, here are some free ideas about how to manage the upcoming holiday so that you can take a break and your senior loved one can enjoy the holiday too.

  • Reach out to your circle- are there any friends, neighbors or family who might be able to lend a hand?
  • Is your senior loved one able to care for themselves with just a few tweaks in the routine to assist them? Perhaps they need your help ahead of when you’re planning to have some time off with meals. Pre-prepare some meals and snacks or arrange ahead of time for takeout orders to be delivered to your loved one. What can you do ahead of time to help give yourself the time off you need?
  • Look for volunteer groups in your community. There may be people willing to give you a break without charging.
  • Use technology to your advantage. If your senior simply needs company, perhaps you can arrange for them to use a phone, computer or tablet to check-in with you a couple times while you’re away.
  • Thriving is an app that helps seniors reach their circle of caregivers and track their moods. Test the app out today!
  • Temporary adult daycare facilities might be an option for your loved one.
  • Temporary overnight facilities might also be helpful.

Self-Care Isn’t Selfish!

At the end of the day, caregivers give so much of themselves to help their senior loved ones and they deserve a break here and there. Avoid caregiver stress and burnout and plan ahead to allow yourself to take regular breaks.

If you employ people who are regular caregivers, consider building into your benefits package regular time off for those who are caregivers. Maybe the company can provide some resources to help individuals who are in this situation.

Remember, if you are responsible for caring for your elderly loved one, taking time for yourself is critical to your own wellbeing. Without regular self-care and time off, you cannot replenish your reserves enough to effectively care for your senior loved one. Self-care is not selfish! Take care this holiday weekend to give yourself time off to breathe and recharge. Avoid caregiver guilt. You’ve got this!

April 5, 2021


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