Understanding caregiver burnout symptoms and coping mechanisms can help make caregiving more enjoyable and fulfilling.
About 1 in 3 adults serves as an informal caregiver to another adult, such as an aging parent or disabled relative. Although many find the opportunity to care for a loved one to be a privilege, it can also be demanding.
Signs of Caregiver Burnout
Caregiver burnout is a state of exhaustion that may result in change of attitude. The exhaustion can be physical, emotional and/or mental.
Common signs of caregiver burnout include the following:
- Lack of energy
- Sleeping too little too much
- Feeling fatigued
- Sense of hopelessness, despair
- Weight loss or gain
- Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
- Neglecting one’s own needs
- Feeling like one’s life revolves around caregiving
- Growing impatient or irritable with loved ones
- Worrying excessively about the future
- Mood swings or depression
- Challenges coping with everyday tasks or problems
- Headaches, stomach aches, and other physical signs of stress
- Getting sick easily
Burnout Risk Factors
Caregivers are more likely to experience burnout if any of the following apply to them:
- Are female
- Live with the person they are caring for
- Are socially isolated
- Have depression
- Face financial difficulties
- Spend most of their hours caregiving
- Didn’t have much choice in caregiving options
Coping Tips for Caregivers Experiencing Burnout
Burnout doesn’t have to be a permanent condition. Use the following tips to prevent and cope with caregiver burnout:
- Ask for and accept help. Others may desire to or be willing to help with caregiving tasks, even if only temporarily.
- Set realistic goals. Understanding that you cannot complete all tasks alone all of the time. Consider saying “no” to extra requests and demands.
- Connect with others. Find a support group, talk to a friend regularly, and connect with others who can listen and understand.
- Avoid common causes of burnout. Caregiving for too many hours, not having a space to process emotions, lack of sleep and other issues are common causes of burnout. Avoid these to recover and prevent further exhaustion.
- Make time for yourself. Make time for rebuilding and recharging—consider scheduling time for the gym, naps, doctors appointments and self-care activities.
These are just a few coping tips for Caregivers. There are many options for caregiving. Caregivers should not feel they are the only ones who can help their loved ones. This is because the pressure will cause or exacerbate burnout. Involve other loved ones in caregiving, find an adult day care or consider a private aide.
HomeSpark offers a variety of non-medical and in-home caregiving services in Bryan/College Station. Our in-home care services allow your senior loved one to receive day-to-day help with the personal care they need. Therefore, this preserves their dignity and maintaining a good quality of life. Depending on your needs, our Bryan/College Station in-home caregivers can provide variety of caregiving services, including companionship, personal care, meal preparation, transportation and more. Contact us with the link below for more information!