Avoiding Caregiver Burnout in San Diego, CA

Learn how to avoid family caregiver burnout.

Caregiver burnout is much more than a myth or "convenient" complaint from a family member when they are feeling tired. Family caregiver burnout is a very real and very serious condition that occurs when caregivers are pushed beyond their physical, mental, or emotional limits. Because burnout is based on an individual's limits, each caregiver reaches their breaking point differently. What may cause undue stress and hardship on one caregiver may not be a problem for another, but they may struggle in a different area. WebMD adds, "Burnout can occur when caregivers don't get the help they need, or if they try to do more than they are able -- either physically, emotionally, or financially."

Warning Signs of Caregiver Burnout

The AARP has a list of warning signs for family members to see if they might be suffering from family caregiver burnout. Among them include:

Roller coaster emotions. The first sign that something is amiss is a wide swing in emotions (and often not good ones). The caregiver who is burned out often feels sad and helpless and before they know it they are experiencing feelings of anger and frustration.

Brain fog. Caregivers often struggle to get enough sleep, and when they are awake they are often under mental and emotional stress. The result is not just physical lethargy but a mental slowing as well. This mental and emotional exhaustion is a good sign that burnout is at hand.

Frequent illness. Constant stress, a lack of sleep, poor eating habits, and a lack of exercise tend to wear down the immune system. This makes a caregiver more susceptible to disease, infection, and even the common cold. If it seems like you are catching every last illness in the neighborhood, it is possible that family caregiver burnout is to blame.

What Personal Life? When you cannot remember the last time you had dinner with friends, your exercise regimen is limited to washing dishes and folding laundry, and your own family is starting to forget what you look like, it is possible that family caregiver burnout is just around the corner if it has not already set in.

While some of these signs may be written tongue-in-cheek, caregiver burnout is no laughing matter. In fact, burnout often results in the hospitalization of the caregiver or worse.

The good news is that family caregiver burnout can be avoided and reversed simply by taking frequent breaks and keeping a proper physical, social, emotional, and mental balance. The problem for many caregivers is finding somebody to care for their loved one while they take a break.

Comfort Keepers provides respite care services designed to provide in home care for seniors while family caregivers take time off to refresh and rejuvenate. From a mere 30 minutes to full-time, 24-hour care, Comfort Keepers caregivers will keep seniors safe while maintaining the level of care and service they require. For more information about family caregiver burnout, or to find out how it can be prevented or reversed through respite care, contact a Comfort Keepers senior care coordinator today.


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