Reduce Caregiver Burnout During National Caregiver’s Month

More than 65 million people–29 percent of the U.S. population–provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member or friend during any given year and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved one.

More than one in 10 family caregivers report providing care has caused their physical health– anxiety, depression, general illness (particularly hypertension and diabetes)—to deteriorate.

Dr. Lisa Price works with caregivers to help reduce their stress as Chief Medical Officer of InnovAge, which provides healthcare services to older adults. Stress is common for most caregivers, with nearly a third saying they feel like they are always rushed.

November is National Caregivers Month, a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country. This year’s theme is “Take Care, To Give Care,” which reminds caregivers to pay attention to their own physical and mental wellness to be able to better care for their loved ones.

Dr. Price provides the following tips on reducing caregiver burnout:

  • Life balance. Set aside time to participate in the activities or hobbies you enjoy. Plan a day with friends, enjoy an activity outdoors, or visit your local museum or library.
  • Exercise regularly. Physical activity is a great way to reduce stress and boost energy. Join a gym class or take a 30-minute walk around your park or neighborhood.
  • Proper nutrition. Eating nutritious meals throughout the day boosts your energy, improves your immune system and helps your body better cope with stress.
  • Get enough sleep. Getting at least seven hours a night of uninterrupted sleep will help increase your energy level and productivity throughout the day.
  • Medical check-ups. Maintain your health by scheduling regular check-ups with your doctor and dentist.
  • Find support. Utilize support programs such as PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), which provide adult day services to older adults and give caregivers respite to take care of themselves.