Monday Minute: Caregiver Burnout
In continuation of Mental Health Awareness Month, we wanted to focus on another rampant problem in the senior industry: Caregiver Burnout.
According to Cleveland Clinic, Caregiver Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion for a person in a primary caregiver position. It can occur when caregivers try to shoulder more than they can carry, financially, relationally, or physically. This state can be brought on many many different scenarios. Some of the common ones include:
- Being unsure what their new role of caregiver requires of them
- Expecting their involvement to have an effect on the patient’s health or mental state
- Unreasonable demands, set either by themselves, the patient, or other relatives
- Lack of control with the resources the patient has available to them
Symptoms of this often look similar to depression or stress: feelings of guilt if they spend time on themselves, withdrawing, troubles with sleeping or eating, feelings of violence or lashing out, and getting sick more often.
So what can be done? There are ways to prevent caregiver burnout from happening. Vocalizing your feelings with a trusted friend or a counselor, taking advantage of respite services to give yourself breaks, and being realistic with your limitations and the physical needs of the patient are all ways that you will be able to set a better pace for yourself to not get overwhelmed. If you need resources, places like the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Center have caregiver support groups they offer that are linked below. If you are curious about respite options, please feel free to reach out to us and we’d love to talk through some options with you so you can get a much needed break. Remember, taking care of yourself as a caregiver is not a luxury, its a necessity!
“Caregiver Burnout; Causes, Symptoms & Prevention.” Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic. Accessed May 18, 2022. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9225-caregiver-burnout#:~:text=is%20caregiver%20burnout%3F-,Caregiver%20burnout%20is%20a%20state%20of%20physical%2C%20emotional%20and%20mental,are%20able%2C%20physically%20or%20financially.
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