- Kasey Cunningham, M.S.
Caring.com recently shared a helpful quiz titled, Are You Heading for Caregiver Burnout? You can take the quiz by following this link:
Caregiver burnout is defined as a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude -- from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned.
Burnout can occur when caregivers are overwhelmed with responsibilities. They may take on more than they can handle alone and overlook their personal needs. Caregivers often are so busy caring for others that they tend to neglect their own emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
So how do you combat the stress and fatigue associated with burnout?
Several suggestions include:
Reach out and stay connected to people who support you – family, friends, co-workers, etc.
Daily walks in the sunlight
Connect with others through caregiver support groups – MANY groups exist on the local level, statewide organizations, through faith based communities, national organizations, and online communities.
Set realistic goals and accept that you may need help with some tasks
Seek RESPITE care – the benefits of a break are immeasurable. Respite does not have to be “traditional” – opportunities exist for respite through friends, family, faith based groups, community organizations, and volunteers.
Remember, once you burn out, caregiving is no longer a healthy option for either you or the person you’re caring for. It’s important to watch for the warning signs of caregiver burnout and take action right away when you recognize the problem.