Thursday, May 28, 2015

Burned Out?

This month’s newsletter from Humana had a good article for Caregivers. Some of these tips are more relevant than others for those of us living with Kennedy’s Disease. As a person with KD, I encourage my wife to become involved in other activities that she enjoys. Sometimes, her just being away from me for a couple of hours makes all the difference in the world. (Maybe there’s an underlining message here for me - J )

Six Tips to Avoid Caregiver Burnout

It is easy to get burned out when you’re caring for a loved one. Here are some tips from to lower your stress and recharge.

  1.   Take time for yourself every day. Try yoga before breakfast, slip out for a 20-minute walk, go to the movies, or take time for a favorite hobby. Even a short break can help.
  2. Get enough sleep. Most caregivers who say their own health has gotten worse blame loss of sleep. Relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing, may help you at bedtime. If a loved one sleeps during the day but ix awake much of the night, try to take naps.
  3.  Join a support group. Look for support groups related to your loved one’s illness, if possible. The local agency on aging may have a listing. Or consider joining an online community.
  4. Let animals assist. Spending time with a cat or dog can be soothing to people who are sick or confined at home. Pets can lower blood pressure, reduce stress and even make elderly people more alert.
  5. Turn on some music. Music and art can spark fun shared moments for you and the person you’re caring for. Familiar music can bring back memories and may lead to clapping and dancing. Art projects should be simple and safe but not too childlike.
  6. Use timers and reminders. Buy pillboxes that sound an alarm when it’s time for the next dose. Try a smart phone app or an online medicine reminder. Pill organizers are a low tech option.

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