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10 ways to help reduce caregiver burnout

Posted by MarlenaBooks Admin on

Here at Marlena Books, we understand the importance of supporting your loved one with dementia, but also their caregiver. Caregiving takes a lot out of individuals, and it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, not only for your loved one with dementia, but also for their caregiver. Caregiver burnout is a prevalent issue, especially for dementia caregivers as they have to be aware at all times to maintain the safety of their loved one. Here are 10 ways to help reduce caregiver burnout

1. Maintain those social connections
two men talking
Maintaining involvement in social activities is necessary for any caregiver's well being. Socially engaging with others helps to relieve stress. Even sitting down with someone and discussing the challenges you’re facing might help you receive the support you might need. You can also be provided with some neat advice from people who understand your situation.

2. Engage with your community/volunteer

​Although it may be stressful for you to take the time out of your day of caregiving, sometimes you need a break. It is important to maintain connections with your community, but also give back, even in a small way. Possibly volunteer once a month and have a loved one take care of your care recipient for an afternoon. This way,  you’ll remain accountable for taking time for yourself and get your mind off of the everyday stresses of being a caregiver.

3. Take some much needed R&R

Rest and relaxation. We understand that the busyness of life can get you down. Listen to your body and don’t let caregiving drain you. If you need a bit of extra time, maybe take a weekend away for yourself and let your loved one stay in respite care or with a family member. A little bit of rest and relaxation will bring you back to yourself leaving you feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on your everyday caregiver tasks.

4. Maintain an active lifestyle
man on treadmill smiling
We know, not everyone loves the word: “exercise”. However, exercise does not have to be a daunting task! Take part in an activity that is fun and interesting to you. Even a 10-minute walk around the block can raise your endorphins and make you feel all around happier. The best thing about walking is if your care recipient is still mobile. Go on a nice stroll with them! Make exercise an enjoyable activity for you and your loved one.

5. Eat your greens!

​Make a point to eat your fruits and vegetables. These are of major importance in your diet to stay healthy and happy. Your body will thank you later. Take care of yourself.

6. Visit with family and friends

elderly man on phone
Take the time out of your day to make a phone call or drop in to visit your loved ones. Your relationship may grow and you’ll also feel relieved chatting to someone who can offer you some support. 

7. Engage in your favourite activities together
elderly man and wife with dementia playing game

​Don’t let your caregiver-care recipient relationship be your only relationship! Whether you’re a daughter, sister, spouse, or simply a friend, keep building that relationship too! Remind each other where your relationship originated prior to the dementia diagnosis. Engage in one of your favourite activities together (such as reading a favourite book, bingo, or simply listening to your favourite music). Just have fun!

8. Explore nature

elderly couple walking in a park
After a dark and gloomy winter, spring is right around the corner! Make a point to get some vitamin D for both yourself and your care recipient. Hang out near a garden, bird watch, or sit outside for a bit. It’s necessary to get 20 minutes of sunlight each day to feel happier and healthier!

​9. Laugh!

elderly couple laughing
Laughter is the best healing agent out there. Spend a bit of time each day laughing, maybe tell a joke, or think of a funny time you’ve had with your loved one. Studies have shown that your body doesn’t always know the difference between a fake smile and a real smile. Even a small facial expression can help to change your feelings for that day. Laugh it off with your care recipient and enjoy your time together.

10. Remember that you’re trying your best
caregiver husband sitting with wife
Don’t let the daunting tasks of caregiving bring you down. You are doing your best! Never be too hard on yourself and enjoy life’s little moments. Remember that you are helping your loved one in such a significant way, even if they don’t know how to always express it. Take pride in your role and from Marlena Books, we thank you for doing such a great job!

What do you do to reduce caregiver burnout? Let us know in the comments below.

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