Are You Experiencing Caregiver Burnout?

By Karen Dawson, C.S.A., Assistant Agency Director,
Rehoboth Beach Walk to End Alzheimer’s Committee Chair

Along with providing excellent care, Always Best Care (ABC) strives to provide support for family and friends of our clients. While caring for a loved one in the home, it is important to take care of oneself to avoid becoming burned out. It is important to notice the signs and symptoms of being overwhelmed. We understand that caring for a spouse, partner, friend, or family member can sometimes become difficult and overwhelming.

Caring for someone who is chronically ill, a person with memory impairment, or a disabled person can potentially come at the expense of the caregiver’s quality of life. In addition to maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle outside of caregiving responsibilities, it is important for those caring for a loved one to learn ways to avoid health hazards and stay well-informed of any changes in their loved one’s condition. If you’re caring for an older adult, Always Best Care recommends these tips to help manage stress before caregiving leads to burnout. Being aware of some of the warning signs can help caregivers properly manage stress and protect themselves.

They include the following warning signs:

  • Overwhelming fatigue or lack of energy
  • Experiencing sleep issues
  • Significant changes in eating habits or weight
  • Losing interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Neglecting personal, physical and emotional needs
  •  Becoming unusually impatient, irritable or argumentative
  •  Having anxiety about the future or a feeling of hopelessness
  •  Suffering from headaches, stomachaches or other physical ailments
  •  Experiencing depression or mood swings
  •  Having difficulty coping with everyday tasks
  •  Lower resistance to illnesses
  •  Set realistic goals, review care plans, and take it one day at a time

Tips for managing caregiver stress

Stress effects everyone and caregivers may find themselves faced with additional stressors. To help manage stress and avoid caregiver burnout, keep these tips in mind:

  •  Getting help with caregiving
  •    Be flexible and be willing to accept support
  •  Try to enjoy time with friends, a faith- based service, or a salon
  •  Take time to enjoy a walk or rest on the beach
  •  Get a good night’s sleep
  •  Incorporate stress management techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing, as well as exercise into your daily routine
  •  Drink plenty of water and eat a healthful diet full of fruits and vegetables
  •  Set realistic goals, review care plans, and take it one day at a time

The ABC Difference

Caring relationships are the foundation of our work. A sincere concern for the betterment of life that goes beyond doing what is required, by doing more for the individual entrusted to our care. These are the values that strengthen our relationships with our clients, their loved ones, and our community. We look forward to being of service…always.