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Here is how caregivers can avoid being burned out

February 19, 2019

People who are not able to look after themselves due to physical disabilities and health issues are dependent on others. They are cared for by parents, family members, friends or professional care providers. These care providers are also known as caretakers and play a crucial part in the life of people with disabilities.

They help the disabled people in their day to day life and in keeping them healthy and safe. The duties and responsibilities of the care givers vary and depend on the condition and needs of the person getting the care.

Helping a loved one is a fulfilling task but can become stressful for the caregivers at times.

The constant pressure of looking after the welfare of a care getter can make a person become negative, burned out and skeptical.

Caregivers are often referred as invisible patients, because of the burnout, stress they experience while providing care for loved one. It is important for carers to look after themselves as one cannot pour from an empty cup. Caregivers should ask for help, assistance from family, friends, and professional in order to get respite from caregiving duties. Keep in touch with friends, socialize, have exercise routine , make room for a hobby. Remember regularly resting, relaxing, and recharging your batteries will help you be a better caregiver. Amrita Patil Pimpale, Founder, Echoing Healthy Ageing

If you are a care giver, here are some ideas that may help you refresh yourself and remain positive.

- Do not try and overdo your work in one day, set some goals and make a plan to carry them out. Paying bills, maintain files and such tasks can be done as per a schedule.

- Understand your own limits, both mental and physical and stop yourself before you reach the breaking point. It is all right to go easy on yourself at times.

- Get a better understanding about the care expected from you. This can be done by getting information about the condition of the care getter. With the proper information you will be help your loved ones much better without overwhelming yourself.

- If you feel angry, frustrated or upset at times, accept the feelings. It is natural and hiding the emotions will only make you tired and bitter.

- Get help and share your stress with someone. Talking to another caregiver or a friend can help you form another social bond and remove any feeling of isolation.

- Do not forget to look after your own health. You will only be able to care for your loved ones if you are healthy.

- Reaching out to a support group is a great way of connecting with other care givers. The interactions with others will help you open up your mind and understand aspects of giving care.

"Caregivers of Individuals with special needs often experience burnout and they become too critical of themselves or they get carried away by their own problems beginning to feel that only they are suffering leading to self- pity. However, what would truly help parents is self-compassion which offers more emotional resilience and helps them forgive, comfort themselves and acknowledge the difficulties of care giving role. Self-compassion opens the doors for self-healing which further helps them become better caregivers". Swathi Vellal Raghunandan, Founder Ishanya India Foundation

Take one day at a time. It is all right to go slow and focus on short term goals.

ALSO READ: Deaf groups in Pune to protest against Maharashtra government's neglect of their needs



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