Caregiver Burnout

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					Caregiver Burnout
Do you have "caregiver burnout"?
Some signs, causes, and solutions for caregiver burnout in the Triad of
North Carolina
Are you:
- Withdrawing from friends, family, and other loved ones?
- Feeling blue?
- Experiencing changes in sleeping patterns?
- Feeling like you want to hurt yourself or the person you're caring for?
- Irritable?
- Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy?
- Seeing changes in your appetite, weight or both?
- Getting sick more often?
- Emotionally or physically exhausted?
Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental
exhaustion. Burnout can occur when caregivers don't get the help they
need or if they try to do more than they are able to do.
Causes of Caregiver Burnout
Caregivers are often so busy caring for others that they tend to neglect
their own emotional, physical and spiritual health. The demands on a
caregiver's body, mind, and emotions can easily seem overwhelming,
leading to fatigue and hopelessness - and ultimately, burnout. Other
factors that can lead to caregiver burnout include:
Role confusion - It can be difficult for a person to separate his or her
role as a caregiver from their role as a spouse, lover, child, friend,
Lack of control - many caregivers become frustrated by a lack of
resources and skills to effectively plan, manage, and organize their
loved one's care.
Unreasonable demands - some caregivers place unreasonable burdens upon
themselves because they often think that providing care is their
exclusive responsibility when it shouldn't be.
Preventing Caregiver Burn-out
Find someone you trust, such as a friend, co-worker or neighbor, to talk
about your feelings and frustrations. Use community resources to your
advantage. Get in touch with your church, the local senior center, or
such organizations as the Alzheimer's Association.
Be willing to accept that you may need help with caregiving, or routine
tasks and turn to others for help with some tasks. When family and
friends ask what they can do to help, give them a task, even if it is
doing the dishes while you sit down for a moment.
Don't forget about yourself! Set aside time for yourself, even if it's
just an hour or two. Remember, taking care of yourself is NOT a luxury -
it is an absolute necessity!
Take advantage of outside help. Find a company that provides good in-home
care and use them, even if only for a couple of hours once a week. Use
that time to go to the grocery store, or go to the park, knowing that
your loved one is well taken care of.
Jeanne Slayton is the Case Manager/Community Relations Coordinator for
Senior Helpers of the Triad. She is dedicated to helping provide the best
care and resources for the seniors in her area. For more information
please contact her at or visit Senior Helpers
on the web at