Caregiver Burnout

by ky1start on March 10, 2014

Recognizing and Preventing Caregiver Burnout 

A sick or disabled family member can require regular assistance from friends and family. The stress on an individual in need of assistance seems to be generally well known, whereas the stress on the caregivers is less so. Having the information to help recognize caregiver burnout and prevent it can greatly increase the quality of care that an individual can provide.

It is widely known that the boomer generations is aging and is one of the largest and longest living generations on record. That means there are potentially an enormous number of people acting as caregivers on top of other family responsibilities.

Caregiver burnout can be the result of having too much on one’s shoulders in the service of another. In many situations, the need to step up into the role of “caregiver” is sudden and unexpected. As familial roles are changed to try and accommodate the needs of a friend or loved one, it can be very easy for caregivers to push their own needs aside. By watching for signs of anxiety, depression, as well as changes in sleeping and eating habits, the beginning stages of burnout can usually be identified before there is a significant problem.

While some people assume that caregivers will ask for help when they need it, many individuals end up feeling burnt out are so focused on providing care and meeting the expectations of others that they are the last to recognize when there is an issue. Keeping lines of communication open can make finding solutions much easier.

It is important for families to talk about caregiver stress and burnout so caregivers have a support group available. Having a certain time frame where different people take over providing care can give the main caregiver a much needed break to see to their own interests and needs. Offering personal assistance can also give caregivers a way to continue providing care without being solely responsible for all required tasks.

Caregiver burnout may not be as commonly known as other stresses, but it is a very real struggle that many people face. In order to recognize and prevent this problem, friends and family members should learn more about how to provide healthy support. With more awareness, fewer people may struggle with the effects of burnout and be able to continue providing quality care to their friend or loved one.

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