Caregiver burnout is common and very real among caregivers all over the world. Perhaps you are not even sure what caregiver burnout is, what the signs of burnout are, or how to overcome the feelings that you have. The team at Belleview Heights wants to be a sounding board and source of strength for you as you care for your loved ones. We have put together some helpful information so you can identify caregiver burnout and learn how to overcome it.
Caregiver burnout is a feeling of emotional, mental, and/or physical exhaustion as it relates to caring for a loved one. Caregivers often feel the effects of caregiver burnout when they are not offered or do not accept the help that they need to care for their family members in need, or when they over-commit themselves either physically or financially. Many caregivers often feel guilty when they spend time or money on themselves rather than on their ill or elderly loved ones. Burnout can often be accompanied by stress, fatigue, changes in mood, anxiety, depression, and other symptoms.
Caregivers are often so busy caring for their ill or elderly loved ones that burnout sneaks upon them, and they do not notice it until it is already happening. It is beneficial to be aware from the outset of scenarios that can cause caregiver burnout. A caregiver may have unrealistic expectations--for example, thinking that their loved one will recover from a progressive condition. They may also experience role confusion, a scenario in which the lines between caregivers become blurred with spouse, child, or friend. Or burnout could be the result of unreasonable demands that are placed on caregivers, such as being the sole caregiver or sole financial provider.
There are several signs that you or someone you know may be struggling with caregiver burnout. Things like lack of sleep, being unusually irritable, and being constantly sick from stress are all signs of burnout. Having thoughts like “the only way this will get better is if they cure this disease” when the condition is incurable may be a sign of caregiver burnout. Someone suffering from caregiver burnout may also find that they have no time for personal care. Things like going to the gym or spending time with friends are not part of the daily routine anymore. If this sounds like you, know that you are not alone or stuck in this rut with no way out. There are steps you can take to overcome burnout.
Luckily there are ways that you can prevent and cope with caregiver burnout. Here are some of our best tips:
We are here to help and would love to guide you in the right direction as you face these challenges that come with being a caregiver.
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