t’s important to look after YOU! Your own physical and emotional health matters just as much as the one(s) you care for.
Stroke recovery can take a toll on everyone involved. Caregivers are particularly susceptible to burnout. Why? Because caregivers tend to not take breaks or look after their own health. Juggling roles and providing support can be exhausting, even for the most devoted person. No matter how happy you are to take on the role of caregiver, burnout can still happen.
To prevent burnout, eating well, staying active, getting a good night’s sleep and taking time for to have fun are all important.
Anybody who has taken on the role of caregiver should watch for signs of burnout. It’s important to look for ways to lighten your load and take breaks. If things are becoming too much, reach out to family, friends, support groups or programs.
Contact your healthcare team if you see the following signs:
- Feeling unusually tense or edgy
- Being angry with the stroke survivor or others
- Feeling sad, tearful or dissatisfied with life
- Feeling exhausted and saying things like, “It’s too much”
- No longer spending time with friends
- Losing interest or energy for activities you enjoy
- Getting sick more often and taking a long time to recover
- Showing an increased need for drugs or drinking alcohol excessively
- Feeling out of control, with no sense of how to regain that control
- Having trouble sleeping or having nightmares
- Not eating well
Caregivers must be taken care of just as much as their patients; It’s in everyone’s best interest. Spread the word.