Caregiving can be extremely rewarding; however, it can be very challenging as well. If the stress of caregiving is left unchecked, it can take a toll on your relationships, state of mind, and overall health. That’s why taking care of yourself is highly important – it’s not just a luxury but a necessity.
Caregiver Burnout: What Is It? What Causes It? What Are the Warning Signs?
Caregiver burnout is a state of total exhaustion – physically, mentally, and emotionally – caused by the overwhelming and prolonged stress of caregiving. Some factors that can lead to caregiver burnout include:
- Unrealistic Expectations
Most caregivers expect that their involvement will positively impact the health of their loved ones. However, this may be unrealistic, especially when the person you are caring for suffers from a progressive or incurable disease, such as cancer or Alzheimer’s.
- Lack of Control
Many caregivers become frustrated due to a lack of resources, money, and skills to effectively manage and organize their loved one’s care.
Caregivers often become so focused on the care and wellness of their loved ones that they may become isolated from their family and friends.
Some caregivers feel like they aren’t doing enough, even when there’s nothing else that can be possibly done. Others may also feel guilty for wanting to take a break even when it’s much deserved.
These are just 4 of the common causes of caregiver burnout. Now that you know its common causes, here’s a list of its warning signs:
- Overwhelming Fatigue
- Sleep Difficulties
- Anxiety, Depression, Irritability
- Feelings of Hopelessness
- Neglecting Your Own Physical and Emotional Needs
- Difficulty Coping with Everyday Things
- Increased Vulnerability to Illness
- Feeling Like Caregiving is Controlling Your Life
- Becoming Unusually Impatient or Irritable with the Person You’re Caring For
Tips for Regaining Your Energy
Knowing the causes and warning signs of caregiver burnout is highly important so that you can take the necessary steps to take control of your health and well-being. Here are some tips from Barbara Care, Inc., a premier provider of home care services in Lexington, Kentucky, to help you recharge and regain your energy:
- Focus on things that you can control
Instead of dwelling on things that you can’t change, focus on things that you can control. For instance, you can’t force your siblings to help, but you can turn to others for assistance.
- Know your limits
Remember that you also have your own limits, especially in doing things. It’s alright if you can’t do everything –you don’t even have to. Learn to rely on family and friends.
- Celebrate victories
To make a difference, you don’t have to cure your loved one’s illness. Don’t underestimate the importance of making them feel safe and loved.
- Consider respite care
We offer respite care, health care service, and personal care in Kentucky. We are here for you and your family.