Those experiencing a short term or extended illness can often feel helpless. Depending on the situation they may not be able to care for themselves independently. Often the responsibility of assistance falls on a spouse, family member, or a loved one. While those receiving care and support are no doubt grateful, often those providing care and assistance can experience substantial fatigue and burnout.
In order to be an effective caregiver, and in turn be there for those they care for, caregivers must consider their own health as well as their physical and mental wellbeing. All too often those providing essential care neglect themselves and run the risk of encountering a situation where, because they didn’t take the time to focus on themselves, are no longer able to serve as a caregiver for those who need them.
A caregiver may not even recognize that their wellbeing is compromised, therefore it is important to watch for these signs of caregiver stress:
When these symptoms of caregiver stress and burnout are identified it is imperative that the caregiver take a moment to reevaluate how they are managing the situation they are working to help. When neglected, caregiver stress and burnout can compromise the care of the individual they are assisting, as well as their own wellbeing.
The Mayo Clinic recommends the following Strategies to help manage caregiver stress:
It may be hard to imagine leaving your loved one in someone else’s care, but taking a break can be one of the best things you do for yourself — as well as the person you’re caring for.
The medical marijuana community may also have resources available which should be considered including support groups for caregivers, listings of medical practitioners, as well as locations to obtain product. Those using Medical Marijuana to manage symptoms may also have a registered caregiver who can help them legally obtain and possess the products they need. Knowing how to legally register as a caregiver can also help to alleviate stress. Information on registering as a caregiver for purposes of medical marijuana can be found through the Florida Department of Health.
The many demands involved with caregiving can strain even the strongest person. Ultimately it is extremely important to take advantage of the many resources and tools available to help caregivers provide care for their loved one. It is only through caring for themselves that caregivers can effectively care for others.
-This article was submitted by Scott Strachan an RN and owner of Abby Services. Abby Services is a Nurse Registry who helps connect clients with safe reliable caregivers. If you or a loved one have questions about how Abby Services can help please call 239-590-0861.