What to Know about Caregiver Burnout
Mar 23, 2021 by Danielle Andersen
You work around the clock to care for your loved one. You’ve invested significant amounts of time and energy into caring for them, making their health and wellbeing your number one priority. You should feel fulfilled in caring for your parent or family member, right? So, why do you feel completely defeated, exhausted and rundown? It could be because of caregiver burnout.
Caregiver burnout is described as a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion where you may experience feelings of anxiety, depression and extreme fatigue. Caregiver burnout can likely occur if you are caring for someone else and not getting the help you need, or if you’re trying to do more than you are able to.
It’s completely natural to feel overwhelmed and burned out when caring for a loved one, especially if you’re already working full time or have children to take care of. To overcome caregiver burnout, it’s important to identify what has caused it and learn ways to avoid it in the future.
Signs and Causes of Caregiver Burnout
Experiencing caregiver burnout can look a lot like extreme stress or depression. Some signs that you may be experiencing burnout include:
- Emotional and physical exhaustion
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
- Feeling blue, irritable and hopeless
Caregiver burnout can be caused by a variety of factors and scenarios. These can include the following:
- Lack of Control – It’s common to become irritated with the elements of caregiving that you are unable to control. For instance, a lack of resources, finances and the proper skills to effectively care for your loved one can be frustrating.
- Unrealistic Expectations –Caring for a loved one who is aging or living with an illness can mean unpredictable behavior, and more bad days than good. Being unable to positively impact their health and happiness while caring for them can lead you to feel upset, overwhelmed and fatigued.
- Confusion with Your Role - Being a caregiver to someone you love is a very difficult role to take on. It can be confusing to try and separate your role as caregiver from your role as a child or family member. This confusion can make you feel overwhelmed and frustrated, especially if you took on the role of caregiver abruptly.
- Too Much Responsibility - When you’re caring for a loved one, it can be easy to place too much responsibility and burden on yourself. You may feel like you “owe” the person or that because they’re family, you should make caring for them your number one priority over everything else. This can lead to you neglecting your own personal responsibilities and attempting to take on too much for one person.
3 Ways to Prevent Caregiver Stress
There’s always opportunities to recover from and avoid caregiver burnout. The following three techniques can help you avoid burnout altogether and provide care to your loved one without sacrificing your personal health:
- Set Realistic Goals. As much as you may want to, you can’t be everything for your loved one at all times. It’s crucial that you set achievable goals for yourself and admit when you need help. Seeking caregiver assistance can help reduce the stress you’re feeling and ultimately puts your loved one’s best interests first.
- Know Your Limits. In order to provide your loved one with proper care, you have to be able to efficiently take care of yourself, too. Be honest and recognize that you may not be able to serve as a full-time caregiver and still be able to adequately tend to your personal needs. By recognizing this early on, you can seek resources to help your loved one with tasks or responsibilities you cannot do.
- Utilize Respite Care Services. It’s okay to take a break from caregiving to focus on your own self-care. Afterall, you want your loved one to receive the best care possible, and that’s difficult to provide if you’re not at your 100 percent best. That’s where places like Knute Nelson can help. We offer respite care services that can give your loved one the high-quality care they deserve and provide you with the time you need to care for yourself.
Knute Nelson Provides High-Quality Care for Your Loved One
At Knute Nelson, we understand that caregiving can be a rewarding, yet stressful role to take on and that the danger of burnout is real. That’s why we offer respite care, a short-term stay at one of our senior living communities. Your loved one will receive personalized care and be able to take part in our community activities and events, while you enjoy a much-deserved break.
If you are no longer able to care for your loved one in the way they require, Knute Nelson offers a multitude of senior care options to meet their unique needs. From independent living to home care, you can rest assured that your loved one will be well cared for by our team at Knute Nelson.
Contact us today or call us at (320) 763-1600 to learn more about our senior living options and everything we do to ensure our residents and patients receive the care they deserve.