Aged Carers In Wollongong

The end of the year is a time for many Aussie caregivers to rest and take some well-earned time for themselves. Whether you’re a professional caregiver or caring for a loved one, the job can be overwhelming and always poses the risk of burnout. As such, the end of the year always highlights the need for caregivers to practise self-care and avoid burnout!

And, given that around one in 10 Australians are family caregivers, it’s easy to see why so many of us require some much-needed time to rest, recuperate and prioritise our own physical and mental health. Because caregiving can be hard, and demands a lot of physical, mental and emotional effort.

With this in mind, here is some important information about caregiver burnout and, most importantly, how you can avoid it going into 2024:

Recognise the signs

The best aged carers Wollongong has should always recognise the signs of burnout:

  • Constant exhaustion
  • Feeling routinely low on energy
  • Succumbing to illness more often
  • Neglecting personal needs for your patient/loved one

Even just one of these symptoms is a prime indicator that you must focus more on self-care. Sure, caring for a patient or loved one can be consuming, but when this consumption starts to affect your health then it is imperative that you focus on your own health, too!

Why you should practise self-care

There are myriad benefits for caregivers who take the time to practise self-care. Not only can they help avoid burnout but they can also help you provide efficient care for your patient or loved one:

  • Wellbeing: Practising self-care is important for everyone’s wellbeing. But this is especially pronounced when the individual is providing essential care for a loved one or patient. So, practising self-care through exercise, rest or a favourite activity is essential to your wellbeing.
  • Mental health: Every essential caregiver is susceptible to depleted mental wellbeing when the job becomes overwhelming. Therefore, taking the time to rest and recuperate is imperative for easing the mind after a heavy caregiving period.
  • Resilience: Taking the time to rest and recuperate ensures that you are also taking the time to bounce back after intense caregiving periods. You might find that resting, relaxing and enjoying your favourite activities will help you become more resilient even when the work is exceptionally difficult.

Top tips for self-care

Self-care isn’t a goal that needs to be achieved. In fact, it’s something you can simply practise through prioritising your needs and taking care of yourself when you need it:

Prioritise your needs

We often forget our own needs when we care for a loved one or patient as part of our profession. But failing to prioritise our own needs is the start of an exhausting journey towards burnout town. It’s important that you set boundaries and even communicate these with your patient/loved one to ensure that you’re not being overwhelmed.

Seek support

For family caregivers this can be family or friends. For professionals this can naturally mean fellow team members. Either way, it’s important that you are not carrying the load of both caregiving and managing every aspect of their home lives, too.

Take breaks

If you notice that you are exhausted then the first thing you should do is consider a couple of days to yourself. For many carers this sounds impossible, but it’s important to remember there is support like respite care at your disposal. Taking a couple of days off even just to lie on the couch can make a huge difference in your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing!