Caregiver Burnout During Covid-19
We see it all too often, a daughter exhausted from caring for her elderly mother, on the brink of breaking down, irritability, and simply tired. The daughter has distant relatives and family members who chip in, but the emotional, physical day-to-day activities of caring for her mom are overwhelming. To complicate things, the afternoon strolls and walks in the mall have halted due to COVID-19. The Caregiver Burnout during COVID-19 is a real heartbreaking rollercoaster of wanting to fully care and support a loved one along with the constant vigilance of protecting them from the virus's exposure.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, Caregiver Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. Symptoms include withdrawal from family, friends, and loved ones, loss of previously enjoyed activities. Seasons Living Director of Health Services, Elsa Prosch, RN, BSN, advises Caregivers should pay special attention to their own state of happiness, appetite, and sleep patterns. Elsa, a nurse with over 28 years of experience, has seen a significant rise in the number of burnout cases this year.
“Caregivers are usually equipped to provide alternatives to their care with assistance from family members during the holidays or extended weekends, but this year is unique with more families staying away from older-aged family members. It is heartbreaking for the Caregiver in many of these situations. These Caregivers are alone and increasingly emotionally and physically exhausted, ” explains Elsa.
Self-care strategies to limit further burnout include talking to a friend or coworker you trust about feelings and frustrations. Also, know your limitations in caring for your loved one and yourself, and always be realistic. Understand your loved one’s disease and acknowledge it may not get easier but increasingly dire for one on one care. Seek Support Groups hosted through online video conferencing. Additional technology engagements to think about is distance tablet visits from relatives or friends. Loved ones enjoy the conversation and the Caregiver gets a short reprieve.
“Conferencing Support Groups continue to educate and alleviate struggling pain points many families are enduring. Local support groups are ideal for intimate gatherings while assisting Caregivers with ordinary and sometimes unique concerns and questions,” says Elsa.
To learn more about Caregiver Burnout and suggestions from a team of professionals, please contact Seasons Living at 503.675.3925 or visit us online at seasonsliving.com