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Caregiver Stress and Burnout


Taking care of our loved ones when they are sick or no longer able to live alone is a task that many people don't hesitate to do. Because these are the people who mean the world to us. We'd go above and beyond to make sure that our loved ones are well taken care of and have everything they need. Being a caretaker is one of the most rewarding things anyone can do. For many, the people they are caretakers of once took care of them. Therefore, it's commonly seen as a way of giving back some of the time that they were given.

Although being a caretaker is rewarding, there are a few important factors to consider. First, this role comes with an immense amount of responsibility. Typically, someone acting as a caretaker isn't helping with very simple tasks. Instead, they're usually responsible for all daily life activities like preparing care plans, assisting with basic needs, managing medications, cooking, etc. Next, this role often requires you to schedule your life around the person being cared for. Planning activities or daily responsibilities can be very difficult with this factored in. Lastly, all the factors that tie into caregiving can cause great stress. Stress from caregiving piled on top of what is already experienced in life can cause negative effects on your health. This can lead to caregiver burnout. Caregiver burnout is when physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion are experienced.

Some signs of caregiver burnout include:

  • Unusual decrease in energy
  • Fatigue
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Decreased immune system
  • Self-displacement from friends and family
  • Inconsistent sleep patterns
  • Frequent mood swings

There are, however, ways that burnout can be prevented. One of the most important is to set boundaries for yourself. Giving yourself a limit on the extent you're willing to sacrifice your own time, and well-being can be a huge help. Having stress relievers is another great prevention. If you're feeling the onset of burnout symptoms, take some time to yourself to go for a walk, work out, read a book, or do whatever you feel clears your mind. It's critical that as a caregiver, you don't forget the importance of your health as well.

At Evergreen Senior Living, we understand that caregiving is not easy. We are here to help you. Learn about respite care and how it can give you a breather and a break when caring for your loved one. Learn more about respite care and tour our campus by visiting our website!

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