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Avoiding caregiver stress and burnout

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Avoiding caregiver stress and burnout

Even though more than 2.2 million Australians provide unpaid care for an adult loved one, many family caregivers tend to feel isolated and alone. This is not surprising since most face their responsibilities with little to no help from other family members or outside support. If the majority of your loved one’s needs falls on your shoulders, it’s important to realize that you are probably overloading yourself and need to take some steps to safeguard your physical and mental wellbeing.

There is no doubt that care giving involves hard work and dedication day in and day out. But even the most demanding jobs give employees vacation days and holidays off in order to ensure quality work and keep up morale. Nevertheless, so many caregivers take it upon themselves to provide around-the-clock hands-on care with minimal respite. This dedication is admirable, and many have no other choice due to a lack of support, but are these personal expectations realistic? What sort of long-term implications will this kind of care plan have on your health and the quality of the care you provide?

Caregiver burnout mini quiz

1. Do you frequently feel tense or strained when you are around your loved one?
2. Do you regularly feel that caring for them has caused your health or social life to suffer?
3. Do you often feel that you will not be able to continue caring for them much longer?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you may be experiencing caregiver burnout.

The good news is, there are services available in aged care that allow you the time you need to rest and recover from your caregiver responsibilities. At HillView we offer respite care on the Gold Coast at both our Ashmore and Merrimac communities. Respite care (also known as short term residential care) offers families support when needed allowing for an extended break or holiday for a few weeks at time. It can also provide the care needed during challenging times, such as when recuperating after an illness, operation or fall.

If you are thinking about placing your loved one into respite care, our  step-by-step guide to respite care is a great place to start.