Whether you are new to caregiving, or have provided long-time support for a loved one, caregiver burnout (also known as caregiver fatigue) can strike at any time. Learns ways to prevent burnout, and what to do if you are feeling burnt out.
Caregiver burnout not only can affect the day-to-day support of the patient and health of the caregiver, but also hinder proper judgment in planning for the critical care decisions ahead.
The key to preventing the harmful and lasting effects of burnout is early recognition of the symptoms.
According to WebMD.com, there are a variety of risk factors and symptoms associated with the condition:
- Confusion when managing roles as caregiver, spouse, parent, friend and more. Being too hard and demanding on yourself in your new role.
- Lack of support, skills and resources (ex. being the sole provider, experiencing financial issues, etc.).
- Unrealistic expectations from the patient and outcomes.
- More factors specific to your situation.
Symptoms of Burnout
- Similar symptoms to depression including: irritability, hopelessness, overall apathy, and withdrawal from people, work or activities.
- Changes in appetite, weight and sleep patterns.
- Becoming sick more often.
- Feelings of wanting to hurt yourself or the person for whom you are caring.
- Overall emotional and physical exhaustion.
There are unavoidable stresses and challenges with the caregiving process, however when it becomes too much to bear, everyone involved is at risk.
If you or a loved one is showing signs of burnout, consult with your home healthcare provider team for professional support and supplemental resources available.
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