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Providing non-medical services to seniors in Burlington and Oakville.

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Do You Have Caregiver Fatigue? Here’s How To Take a Break

I’m able to do “well” because I understand the importance of frequent escapes from my caregiving responsibilities—preferably every day. Fortunately, I can leave my husband alone for hours at a time. He’s very supportive of my breaks because, like many people who need help, he doesn’t want to be a burden and he wants me to be happy.

Within the confines of almost any caregiving role, you can find escapes that nourish you and let you continue to have the energy for caregiving. Getting a break may require help from others and asking for that help is an important skill to learn. If you can’t leave your loved one by him or herself for long enough to have a good escape, ask a friend to stop by so you are able to go with a clear conscience.

I have a mental list of pleasurable activities. On the rare days when I don’t want to leave my home, I fall back on stay-at-home respites like reading a good book, listening to music, talking on the phone to a dear friend, or doing a crossword puzzle. But I’ve found that getting out and about is a more complete escape.

When I leave the house, I’m getting exercise in the form of walking—another pleasurable activity for me. And there’s an extra fillip of fun when my escapes give me the chance to practice navigation skills, like learning new bus routes. Here are many of my favorite away-from-home escapes, in order of how often I do them. You can find ideas on the Internet (Google pleasurable activities) or create your own list.

  • Spending time with friends, preferably with food, and often with stimulating conversation
  • Long walks and conversation with my children or grandchildren
  • Going to a movie
  • A trip to the library (including reading there for a change of pace)
  • Happy hour by myself (easy to feel comfortable, since I live in a lively urban neighborhood)
  • Going to my intensive weekly workout
  • Gardening (in someone else’s garden)
  • Dancing
  • Singing
  • Orienteering

Psychologists know that engaging in pleasurable activity is an effective way to address depression. These activities also produce endorphins! After a wonderful evening with friends, the effects often last well into the next day.

Many resources are out there to help caregivers with practical and spiritual advice. Just as they tell us on the airplane, it’s important to “put your own oxygen mask on first” and not feel selfish or guilty for doing that. The renewal you experience from your pleasurable escapes will help you be a better and more patient caregiver.

By Denise Klein

Denise Klein led the King County Area Agency on Aging for 12 years, was Senior Services’ CEO for 10 years, and spent 13 years as a national consultant on aging.  She has served on numerous non-profit boards, received two national leadership awards, and is currently the executive director for Wider Horizons, a Village Network community in Seattle.  (www.widerhorizonsvillage.org)

Burloak Senior Support offers companionship services for you if you are needing a break to practice self care, relax, or explore any activity that will bring joy and comfort. Click Here 

2018-05-16T14:17:29+00:00 May 15th, 2018|Burloak Senior Support|

Welcome to Burloak Senior Support

Welcome to Burloak Senior Support! Thank you for stopping by my webpage and blog.

I am so excited to introduce myself and this company. It started as a vision, a passion, and a purpose. Three months later this dream has come to life with hard work and a lot of support and encouragement. Things seemed to line up, show up, and fall into place!

Why this business? Why now? I have volunteered in Burlington for many years with older adults at the bedside in hospice care and in the hearing healthcare industry. I have been honoured to get to know each person and hear the amazing stories they have to tell. I was also exposed to the challenges seniors face due to the aging process itself and the loneliness and isolation of many seniors live with daily. Our baby boomers in Halton Region are aging and living longer and I have come to see a growing need for caring and compassionate support, and reliable and affordable solutions for this growing and most valuable part of our community.

I find it amazing that today’s western cultures tend to be so focused on youth and value such qualities as individualism and independence. One’s value is tied to his or her ability to work and earn, something that diminishes with age. Seniors in North America often live lonely lives and are separated from their children and friends. In other parts of the world, such as in China and Korea the elderly are honoured, prioritized, celebrated, and treated with the utmost respect.

Burloak Senior Support allows me to do what I truly love and provide valuable and much needed services at the same time.

“In every step of the planning process for this business I have envisioned the kind of trusted care I would want for my own aging parents”

It is my vision that this blog will become a way to expand my reach to seniors and their families and provide a platform to discuss some serious, impactful issues and topics that relate to older adults. At other times it will be a place to laugh together about life, to share ideas and personal stories…and let’s be honest…we will also find the time to share a yummy, tried-and-tested, ‘must share’ recipe as well.

To the seniors and their families out there looking for support, connection, and compassion…. I work for you!

Andrea

2018-04-23T17:08:08+00:00 April 23rd, 2018|Burloak Senior Support|