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Hannah Baillie, Editor in Chief, 90Second Caregiver
Patrick McGrath, OC, PhD, FRSC, Principal Scientist, 90Second Caregiver

Perfectionism

Perfectionism...
Trying to be perfect

Perfectionism comes from the desire to provide the best care possible, but it often leads to caregiver burnout. Even at the best of times, caregiving can feel like an uphill battle, and trying to do things perfectly is impossible. Remember that the work you are doing is making a difference to the person you care for, even though your efforts may not be perfect. You will make mistakes. Things won't be perfect. That is inevitable and it is OK. 

Caregivers usually have higher stress levels than non-caregivers. They are also more susceptible to depression and are less likely to take needed breaks. This can lead to caregiver burnout - a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion.

... CALL TO ACTION...

Trying to be perfect

Perfectionism comes from the desire to provide the best care possible, but it often leads to caregiver burnout. Even at the best of times, caregiving can feel like an uphill battle, and trying to do things perfectly is impossible. Remember that the work you are doing is making a difference to the person you care for, even though your efforts may not be perfect. You will make mistakes. Things won't be perfect. That is inevitable and it is OK. 

Caregivers usually have higher stress levels than non-caregivers. They are also more susceptible to depression and are less likely to take needed breaks. This can lead to caregiver burnout - a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion.

Image

Trying to be perfect

Perfectionism comes from the desire to provide the best care possible, but it often leads to caregiver burnout. Even at the best of times, caregiving can feel like an uphill battle, and trying to do things perfectly is impossible. Remember that the work you are doing is making a difference to the person you care for, even though your efforts may not be perfect. You will make mistakes. Things won't be perfect. That is inevitable and it is OK. 

Caregivers usually have higher stress levels than non-caregivers. They are also more susceptible to depression and are less likely to take needed breaks. This can lead to caregiver burnout - a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion.

CALL TO ACTION
assessment, when selecting options, 1 is false, 5 is true.There is always something else to do. The list never ends. please select an option..I am often exhausted at the end of the day. please select an option..I feel like my situation is out of control. please select an option..I am always stressed. please select an option..When something goes wrong, I blame myself. please select an option..I don’t go to bed until all the work is done.please select an option..I rarely take breaks. please select an option.. Please submit the form to get your assessment.
Personal Story. Personal Story.

When my mom had a serious car accident three years ago, I knew our lives would never be the same. Even though we lived an hour apart, I was the closest child to her and so I took on many caregiving responsibilities. Taking time away from work wasn’t an option for me, so on a typical day I would:

  1. Wake up at 5:00 am to drive to my mom’s house and help her get ready for her day
  2. Drive back to my neighbourhood and work a full day
  3. Drive again to my mom’s house to get her dinner ready and spend the evening with her.
  4. After that, I would finally get home around 11:00 pm and go to bed.

I repeated this day after day for nearly six months and I still felt like I wasn’t doing enough. I thought about getting up earlier to spend more time with her, or shifting my work hours, but I was already exhausted and burnt out. It wasn’t until I fell asleep while driving home one night and nearly caused an accident that I realized something needed to change.

The next day, I booked a home care visit for her in the mornings. This meant that I could get a few extra hours of sleep and know she was well cared for. After the workday was over each day, I would go to visit with her.

Hiring professional home care helped me realize that I didn’t need to do everything myself. It is okay to break the routine. There were a few days when I didn’t get to visit mom at all. On those days, I tried not to be too hard on myself. Home care was just a call away and they were always willing to visit when needed.  After all, caregiving is sometimes challenging. The earlier you realize you can’t do everything perfectly, the happier you will be in the long term.

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