To be able to care for others, you must first care for yourself.
The following very accurately describes Caregiver Burnout, its causes, and possible solutions. Caregiver burnout can happen to spouses, family and even professional caregivers tasked with caring for someone. It is important to know the signs and also to know that there is help.
What is Caregiver Burnout?
Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned. Burnout can occur when caregivers don’t get the help they need, or if they try to do more than they are able, either physically or financially. Caregivers who are “burned out” may experience fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression. Many caregivers also feel guilty if they spend time on themselves rather than on their ill or elderly loved ones.
What Are the Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout?
The symptoms of caregiver burnout are similar to the symptoms of stress and depression. They include:
What Causes Caregiver Burnout?
Caregivers often are so busy caring for others that they tend to neglect their own emotional, physical, and spiritual health. The demands on a caregiver’s body, mind, and emotions can easily seem overwhelming, leading to fatigue and hopelessness — and, ultimately, burnout. Other factors that can lead to caregiver burnout include:
How Can I Prevent Caregiver Burnout?
Here are some steps you can take to help prevent caregiver burnout:
Where Can I Turn for Help With Caregiver Burnout?
If you are already suffering from stress and depression, seek medical attention. Stress and depression are treatable disorders. If you want to prevent burnout, consider turning to the following resources for help with your caregiving:
As a caregiver, there are many local support options available. Often times the hardest part is deciding to seek help. To get information about available resources please contact: