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8 Tips to Prevent Caregiver Burnout

By: Clare Absher RN, BSN

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Once you've spent the time searching for, interviewing, and hiring a caregiver that you are pleased with, it's in everyone's best interest for this person to remain satisfied with their job. Taking care of the caregiver may be the last thing on your mind, but it is probably the most crucial matter at hand. Here are some tips to enhance the caregiver-family relationship, prevent caregiver burnout, and make the caregiver feel at ease, all of which will benefit your loved one's overall care.

1. Make sure to lay down all the ground rules.

Discuss house rules, job duties, and expectations of quality care. Spend time orienting them to your home, the daily routine, and all aspects of your loved one's care.

2. Treat your caregiver with the utmost respect.

Recognize that this can be difficult and stressful work. Reinforce that you value their dedication and are entrusting them with an important job.

3. Give frequent praise and positive feedback.

Everyone needs to feel appreciated. Remember them on holidays with gifts, or occasional surprises such as flowers and candy, or dismiss them early sometimes.

4. Include them in all aspects of your loved one's care.

A trained, professional caregiver is vital to the caregiving team. Listen carefully to their comments, observations, and update them on changes concerning your loved one's care.

5. Give credit for their experience and knowledge.

Encourage the caregiver to share some tricks of the trade with you. Recognize that another's approach, although different at times, may have positive results.

6. Make them feel welcome in your home.

Consider their feelings, preferences, and needs. Realize and try to understand that they have personal lives with their own problems outside of your home.

7. Be as flexible as possible.

Be as flexible as possible about caregiving routines and accommodate time off requests, as this will go a long way in promoting ongoing loyalty. Negotiate when possible about conflicting schedules that arise.

8. Pick your battles and don't sweat the small stuff.

Focus on the big picture making certain that the overall care of your loved one remains the foremost priority.