How to avoid caregiving burnout

Tending to the needs of a loved one who can no longer care for themselves? It’s only natural that you become exhausted (whether physically, mentally, emotionally or even all three) over time, so it’s important that you also take care of yourself. But that’s not all it takes to prevent caregiving burnout.

“Apart from engaging in self-care, caregivers should also make use of community resources, attend caregiving training programmes and join a support group,” advises Dr Hu Pei Lin, Consultant Clinic director at Marine Parade Polyclinic. The polyclinic currently runs a PACE IT (Primary Care Based Integrated Community Care) programme that cares for patients living with diabetes and complex care needs.

She adds that it’s also a good idea that you partake in regular exercise that encompasses endurance, strength and flexibility, and in social activities that will not only keep you mentally stimulated, but make you feel less isolated.

Given that we’re living in a pandemic, Dr Hu also has some tips for caring for elderly patients during this time.

“You can help them reduce the odds of debilitating illness such as stroke by helping them maintain good control of existing chronic conditions such as diabetes. Good physical function like mobility and muscle strength also reduces to incidences of falls, which usually to fractures and loss of independence.”

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