Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Supporting Caregivers Facing Burnout

Caregiver burnout is a common occurrence in the senior care industry. In fact, burnout in any field is frequently experienced by professionals who spend a great deal of time at work. But caregiver burnout is a bit different because it can directly impact the quality of care that elderly individuals receive. If you have a friend or family member who is worn out or experiencing full-blown burnout, it is important to support them and assist in any way possible, as their emotional and mental wellbeing are crucial to their ability to provide the best care to an elderly loved one.

What are the signs of caregiver burnout?
The stress that caregivers experience is often intense, and it can affect them in a wide range of ways. From simply overloading them with responsibility to launching them into a depression, this stress is dangerous if not addressed. This is why, when your friend or family member becomes worn out, it is important to step in and support their wellbeing.
The signs of caregiver burnout are similar to those of depression, and the signs of the stress leading up to burnout are less severe versions of these symptoms. Some of these include withdrawing from social activities, feeling sad, not engaging in familial activities, and becoming disinterested in activities and topics that an individual was once passionate about.

How can you help?
The best thing to do for a friend or family member who is stressed by their care giving responsibilities is to support them emotionally and physically. This means being there to both talk them through their problems and being there to physically assist with their daily responsibilities, if possible. In fact, stepping in to provide respite care to a loved one will give your friend the chance to take some time off and recharge.

One crucial fact to remember is that there is no shame in caregiver stress or burnout. Providing home care to an elderly loved one is an emotionally, mentally, and physically demanding job. Oftentimes, caregivers simply need a few days off to relax and rebalance their lives to overcome the stress that care giving can create.

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