Home caregivers provide a valuable service and assistance to families, elderly people, and others who need various levels of care. However, caregivers can start to feel the effects of their jobs over time, which can lead to increased stress and difficulty concentrating while on the job, commonly referred to as burnout. Some of the signs caregivers could exhibit when they’re experiencing burnout include:
- Short tempers
- Mood swings
- Increased illnesses
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Weight gain/loss
Aside from these, some caregivers also notice they have much less tolerance and patience, both in the workplace and at home, as well as a loss of interest in their jobs.
Reduce Stress & Anxiety
Several studies have demonstrated support groups can significantly help when caregivers are starting to notice burnout. One such study was recently conducted by the Mayo Clinic along with researchers from Arizona State University. This particular study focused on caregivers who are also mothers and how the effects of stress and burnout affected their jobs and at-home lives.
The study involved 40 participants who were split into two groups. Nineteen participants in one group were given one hour of free time each week they could use however they wanted. The other 21 subjects were given one hour of group support. The study lasted for a period of 12 weeks. Throughout the study, participants were monitored and reported the levels of stress, depression, and other feelings they were experiencing. At the end of the study, the subjects who had participated in group support sessions reported remarkably lower levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and other feelings associated with burnout than the participants who had been given an hour of free time each week.
Caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Lincoln families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation.
Lower Cortisone Levels
Cortisone is a chemical in the body that’s responsible for regulating stress responses. Higher cortisone levels indicate a higher level of stress. The 21 participants who were in the support group showed a significant reduction in cortisone levels. Furthermore, this group continued to experience lower cortisol levels three months after the study was concluded. Other studies have reported similar findings.
Family caregivers who join support groups can get sound advice about issues such as hiring professional caregivers. When researching agencies that provide homecare services, families are usually looking for flexible care plans, compassionate and highly trained caregivers, and 24/7 availability. Whether you need respite care to take a break from your caregiving duties or your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, you can rely on Home Care Assistance.
Prevent Caregiver Burnout
Caregivers can prevent burnout by participating in support groups with their peers. In cases where you cannot find a support group in your area for caregivers, viable alternatives are to ask your employer to start a support group or seek one-on-one counseling with a qualified professional. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. It just means you truly care about your job and providing exceptional care for seniors.
If you’re a family caregiver who’s feeling isolated and overwhelmed by your caregiving responsibilities, a support group can be a wonderful source of encouragement. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional at-home care. Lincoln families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (916) 226-3737 to learn more about our customized care plans.