When talking with clients, families, and my colleagues, I hear a common theme of late — fatigue. Usually in December, we are all distracted by parties, shopping and travel. This, however, is not a usual December. Instead of our typical distractions, we find ourselves seeking new ways to connect, and as this year drags on, it’s getting harder to do. Every move or choice takes extra effort, requires more attention to details, and involves navigating others’ comfort levels regarding COVID-19 risks.
This goes beyond COVID fatigue, although that’s certainly a major factor. It’s what caregivers on the brink of burnout often describe as “decision fatigue.” This is the official term we use when our ability to make the best choices is diminished. Sometimes none of the options feel great, there are seemingly far too many decisions to make, and we shut down.
We have been talking with other healthcare professionals with this question in mind: how do we support those with this type of fatigue? Here are some suggestions:
- Slow down and listen
- Watch for anxiety, exhaustion, anger, and ignoring contacts
- Be patient and only make decisions one must make
- Focus on simple things that bring joy each day
Our Springpoint at Home team has skilled Aging Life Care Advisors ™ and private duty home care staff. We assist caregivers who are overwhelmed with decision fatigue by overseeing care and taking on some of the many decisions to be made. We take what may seem impossible and break it into small manageable steps. If you or someone you care about is in need of this type of coaching and support, give our suggestions a try and perhaps reach out to us at 609-366-1900; we are just a phone call away. We are all better together as none of us can tackle so many decisions alone!
Director of Home Care and Care Management
Springpoint at Home