Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. It may go along with a change in attitude -- from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned. Burnout can happen when you don’t get the help you need, or if you try to do more than you’re able -- either physically or financially. Caregivers who are "burned out" may have 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.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout:
- You have much less energy than you once had.
- It seems like you catch every cold or bout of flu that’s going around.
- You’re constantly exhausted, even after sleeping or taking a break.
- You neglect your own needs, either because you’re too busy or you don’t care anymore.
- Your life revolves around caregiving, but it gives you little satisfaction.
- You have trouble relaxing, even when help is available.
- You’re increasingly impatient and irritable with the person you’re caring for.
- You feel helpless and hopeless.
Taking on all of the responsibilities of caregiving without regular breaks or assistance is a surefire recipe for caregiver burnout. Don’t try to do it all alone.
- Look into respite care
- Spread the responsibility
- Set up a regular check in with a friend/family member
- Say “yes” when someone offers assistance
A list for anyone on how to take care of yourself while taking care of others