SHELTON, CT, October 29, 2009 – In recognition of November’s designation as National Family Caregivers Month, LifeCare, Inc. is offering the following 10 tips to help caregivers overcome the exhaustion, guilt and frustration that may lead to “caregiver burnout.”
1. Taking care of yourself is essential to taking good care of your loved one, so get enough rest, eat well and exercise as often as possible.
2. Lighten your burden by sharing the care responsibilities with family members and friends who offer to help. This is not a sign of failure or weakness.
3. Being good to yourself makes you a better caregiver, so treat yourself to a good book, a dinner out or some other enjoyable activity from time to time.
4. Forgive yourself when things don’t go exactly as planned. Losing your patience, getting angry or being critical of yourself or your loved one is a waste of precious energy. And maintaining a sense of humor is equally important.
5. Combat stress by joining a support group. If it’s difficult for you to get out, join an online caregiving forum.
6. Encourage your loved one to be as self-sufficient as realistically possible. Too many caregivers overwork themselves by trying to “do it all” for their loved ones.
7. Recognize the warning signs that you’re stressed or out of balance. These signs can include new physical illnesses; becoming irritable, anxious or depressed; and overeating, drinking more alcohol, using illegal drugs or abusing prescription medications. Recognize your own warning signs and take action.
8. If family members, friends or co-workers express concern over your physical appearance or your mental state, listen to them. Get assistance from your doctor or a support group, if necessary.
9. Speak to your employer about your role as a caregiver and find out if you have access to employee assistance programs or support systems that will help you manage your situation and your loved one’s needs more effectively.
10. Consider professional care if your duties become overwhelming or if you feel uncomfortable continuing to provide care. There are many professional care options to assist you, including adult day care centers, home care, respite care and alternative living arrangements.
“Caregiving can be exhausting and family caregivers often spend so much time and energy caring for a loved one that they neglect to care for themselves,” said LifeCare CEO, Peter G. Burki. “It’s extremely important that caregivers heed the tips we’ve offered — especially with the holidays approaching, when many of them will be faced with additional demands on their time and energy.”
LifeCare is a leading provider of health and productivity solutions for employers nationwide, offering cost-saving benefits that help clients reduce their most pervasive absenteeism and productivity drains, including child and elder care, caregiving support, health and wellness issues, and more. For more than two decades, LifeCare has led the work/life industry in the creation of high-quality, results-oriented programs designed to improve clients’ bottom lines. LifeCare serves 1,500 client companies with 4.5 million individuals within corporations, health plans, government agencies and unions. For more information, visit www.lifecare.com.
Notes to Editors:
LifeCare’s CEO, Peter G. Burki, is available for interview.
Media contact: Michael Civiello; 203-291-3756
This press release was distributed through PR Web by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company