Reduce Caregiver Stress
by Relinquishing Control
The first tip on how to reduce caregiver stress and avoid caregiver burnout is to relinquish control over the people, situations and events over which you have no influence or power. When you are caring for an elderly parent, a spouse who has a dementia-related disease, a loved one with a progressive and degenerative illness, or someone who suffers with chronic pain, you will greatly reduce your stress if you can accept that there are many, many things that are completely out of your control.
It’s impossible to turn the clock back to a time when they were young and healthy. It’s impossible to stop the progression of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and no matter how much you love someone, you simply cannot stop them from dying. If you can relinquish the feeling that it’s up to you to change a loved one’s medical condition or prevent the progression of a disease, I think you’ll feel like a huge weight has been lifted from your shoulders.
You cannot control the outcome, but you can choose your attitude. You can be loving. You can be supportive, and you can can provide comfort. Accept that we are all mortal and understand that you are giving your care receiver the most valuable gift one person can give another. You are continuing to love them even when they have nothing to give you in return. If you can focus on that fact, it may help you reduce stress and avoid caregiver burnout.