How To Prevent Caregiver Burnout

  • Take deep breaths
  • Leave the room (you can say you need to use the bathroom) and count slowly to 20
  • Listen to music with gentle sounds and soft rhythms
  • Take a nap (time permitting)
  • Exercise regularly
  • Consciously relax each tense muscle from your toes to your forehead
  • When you have more time, practice some basic relaxation meditation or visualization techniques to help restore your equilibrium

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Consider this analogy – when flight attendants go through the safety briefing before a plane takes off they tell you that in case of emergency, place the oxygen mask on yourself before you place it on someone else. The logic is simple—you can’t save someone else if you have passed out from oxygen deprivation. The same concept applies in caregiving.

You must make your own well-being a high priority.  By taking care of yourself you are enabling yourself to take better care of your loved ones.  Some people process this as being selfish. It is not. It is essential. Also by asking for help when you need it, you are doing what is healthy and better positioning yourself to be a more effective caregiver.


Derrick Y. McDanielAfter years of consulting, providing professional advice and caring for the elderly, Derrick Y. McDaniel, a recognized expert in the eldercare industry, an attorney and former NYU professor, has composed a resource tool to help everyone who cares for their aging loved ones. Eldercare, The Essential Guide to Caring for Your Loved One and Yourself is a book that answers all the tough care giving questions that most people do not know to ask. Visit for more information.

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