If you are taking care of your parent with Alzheimer's disease in your home, you may notice that you have become a little irritable and are experiencing mood swings. If so, these could be the beginning signs of caregiver burnout, and you may want to use one or more of the following tips for reducing stress and preventing caregiver burnout.
Do Not Neglect Your Social Life
After you moved your parent into your home, you may have started devoting all your time to taking care of them. In the process, you may have lost contact with your friends and other family members. Eventually, you may have a very minimal social life or no social life at all. Neglecting your social life can lead to isolation and resentment towards your parent. Even though you love them very much, you should spend time with other people.
You can either vent your feelings to your best friend or forget about the situation entirely by scheduling a shopping trip with your work friends. Either way, you are temporarily removing yourself from your home so you can regain your focus.
Schedule One Night Out For Yourself
Having an evening away with friends could be beneficial, but you may also want to schedule one night a week for yourself. Not only are you getting away from the stress, but you are giving yourself permission to focus on your desires, even if it is just for a few hours.
Get out and do something that you enjoy doing, such as going to a movie. Or, spend a couple of hours at a coffee shop with nothing but you, a cup of espresso, and a good book. Try to spend at least a couple of hours away. You can speak with a home health agency like Neighbors Home Care Services about having an aide come out to care for your parent.
Play With Your Pet
Another way to escape from the demands on yourself as a caregiver is to take some time to play with your dog or cat. Pets want nothing but love, and taking the time to play with them could reduce your stress levels.
If you love animals but are unable to have a pet of your own, visit a pet store or even your local animal shelter. You may be able to volunteer at the shelter a couple of hours a week.
Using the steps above and allowing yourself time away from your loved one can help keep you from getting burned out. However, if you find that your stress levels are steadily increasing, you may want to speak with your parent's in-home health care agency to seek additional advice and discuss ways of giving youreslf a break, such as sending an aide several times a week.
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