Family Members / Caregivers

Avoiding Caregiver Burnout – Taking Care of You

Caring for someone with a long-term illness can be very rewarding, but it is also hard work. It can cause one to feel depressed, sick, and run down. Here are some tips that can help prevent burnout.

Educate yourself about the condition or illness of your loved one.

Learn as much as you can about the person’s condition, and how it an
change over time.

  • Knowing what to expect can decrease stress.
  • You can prepare for future medical costs and needs. It may also give you time to learn new skills you will need later.
  • Some conditions can cause the person to forget who you are, say hurtful things, or even act out. Knowing about the illness can help you understand these actions.

Ask for assistance.

You should feel good about the hard work that you do, but remember that you can’t always do it all on your own. You will need
help from others.

  • Make a to-do list along with a list of people whom you can call to help you complete unfinished tasks.
  • Ask other family members to run errands, help with light housekeeping duties, or pick up groceries.
  • Call your local Office of the Aging to find volunteer groups and other resources in your area.

Take breaks.

Be sure to take some time each day for yourself. Take advantage of the time that becomes available when the person you are caring for has a visitor or is asleep.

  • Go outside for a walk, relax in the garden, or try relaxing breathing techniques.
  • Read a book or listen to music.
  • Call a friend.
  • Use respite care or an adult social daycare center for longer breaks at least once or twice a week.

Take care of yourself.

To give the best care, you must stay in good health.

  • Get regular health and dental checkups. Ask about the flu shot and any other healthcare screenings you may need.
  • Try to keep regular sleep patterns.
  • Eat healthy meals and snacks. Be sure to get plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins.
  • Daily physical activity can decrease stress levels and help keep your heart healthy.
  • Your mental health is also very important; join a local or online support group. Regularly talk to family, friends, or a counselor.

Stay positive and encouraged.

Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. It will help you keep a
positive attitude.

  • While there are many things you cannot control, you can take charge of your own feelings.
  • A positive attitude may help give your loved one the best care possible and give them the encouragement they need to deal with their illness.
  • You may offer dignity and do your best to make the person for whom you are caring feel safe and loved.
  • Even if your loved one is not able to show appreciation or happiness, you can feel good about the job you are doing.


Caregiver Support Group

6:00 P.M.-7:30 P.M.

Caring for someone with a long-term illness can be very rewarding, but it is also hard work. It can cause one to feel depressed, sick, and run down. Download a brochure of these tips that can help prevent burnout using the button below.