A caregiver takes care of the needs of a person with limitations arising from age, disability, illness, or injury; but then, it is proven that regardless of how rewarding this responsibility appears to be, most caregivers are likely to experience a burnout from stressors while discharging their duties. We seek to enlighten you on the struggles associated with the role of a caregiver with this quick guide to everything you need to know, including recovery patterns.
Caregiver burnout is a form of exhaustion that affects the physical, psychological and emotional state of a person who tends to the needs of others. It often occurs when the caregivers feel overwhelmed, unappreciated or when, despite their best efforts, there is no evident improvement in the condition of the person under their care. Sometimes, caregivers also experience burnout when they try to execute tasks or take up responsibilities that exceed their inherent physical or mental capacity. It impedes their ability to carry out the day-to-day activities and sometimes places the loved one at the risk of not receiving enough compassion from the caregiver.
Caregiver burnout is caused by a number of factors and differs for each caregiver. One of the major factors is, however, linked to the guilt that caregivers encounter whenever they choose to engage in self-care activities. In light of this, the causes of caregiver burnout include:
Most caregivers have to also play the role of a parent, spouse, sibling, and/or employee. It becomes difficult to separate these roles from their responsibility as a caregiver. Sometimes, there is no specific description of their role expectations but rather, with time, the role demands continue to expand much to the detriment of their ability to juggle between the different roles they have to play in their circle.
It is not unusual for a caregiver to expect that the care and attention that they give their loved ones will improve the state of mind or general well-being of their loved one. This often results in caregivers giving most of their time and committing all of themselves to the betterment of their loved one. Nonetheless, and despite their good wishes or will, there are times that a seniors condition, illness, or struggle may not improve. Further, the loved one may have an opinion about how they are being cared for that splits the efforts of the loved one in different paths.
Caregivers hardly have time to take care of themselves or time to be alone. This lack of privacy and alone time affects their care and often their mood as well. It is common to have a loved one request for the company or assistance of the caregiver even in those moments when the caregiver may have other responsibilities. Additionally, having to always be close to your loved one or attending to individuals who troop in for visitation is another cause of exhaustion.
Caregivers are prone to have disoriented sleep patterns arising from the need to provide hands-on care round the clock. This is also associated with the isolation that comes from being disconnected from your family and friends or the fear of what might happen if you leave your loved ones alone. It is important that caregivers take out time to take care of themselves to prevent a burnout.
Caregiver burnout does not erupt suddenly but is traceable to accumulated patterns in behavior that can be observed and addressed in a manner that curbs the crisis before it begins. The possible signs and symptoms include:
The stages of caregiver burnout as recorded by the author; James Sherman are;
Caregiver stress: The caregiver at this stage experiences disappointment over the declining condition of the loved one. It is difficult for the caregiver to accept that the deteriorating condition has nothing to do with the quality of care the care recipient receives from the caregiver. A caregiver may feel overwhelmed and have trouble concentrating.
Caregiver burnout: The caregiver feels unappreciated and withdraws from people believing that no one understands them or the condition that they have to deal with. The caregiver struggles to have a sense of purpose and feels criticized by others. This drives him intoto loneliness and an unwillingness to reach out to others for help.
Compassion fatigue: The caregiver loses interest and concentration in his responsibilities towards the care recipient. It creates a level of despair that weakens the caregiver’s empathy. The caregiver is no longer interested in the progress or response of the care recipient and, at times, a caregiver may begin to neglect their personal well-being.
We understand that caregivers may feel guilty stepping away from their responsibilities no matter how short their break may be and despite the risk of a burnout. Nonetheless, senior communities are a viable option for caregivers to take the time out to rejuvenate while their loved ones are still being taken care of in a place filled with love and companionship.
Respite care at the senior community is a short term stay for a loved one while the caregiver embarks on a vacation break. The Priority life care community provides your loved ones with a caring environment for 30 days or less. Our courteous staff take care of every need of your loved ones. It is an option that offers you the opportunity as a caregiver to reduce the stress, restore energy and keep your life in balance. Your loved ones are entitled to use our amenities including our 24-hours care staffing, transportation assistance, among others.
Our senior communities offer an adult stay program for your senior loved ones who need supervision during daytime hours. The day care provides seniors participating in the day stay program with stimulation, social interaction, and activities throughout the day. It is preferable to have your loved ones in a safe and supportive environment rather than staying home alone all day.
This option offers you the opportunity to relieve the stress within a community where you can not only share your experiences, but where you are also understood. You have the opportunity to learn valuable caregiving tips and get assistance in making difficult decisions. There are opportunities to learn healthy coping skills, and a sense of empowerment.
The agency of aging links caregivers with the services that they may need to make their lives easier and better. They offer caregiver resources as well as programs that benefit your senior loved ones.
Assisted Living provides the ideal solution for your loved ones who need some help with the activities of daily life such as bathing, dressing, and medication. Our on-site caregivers who serve 24 hours in a day is a ready solution for you during your vacation break as a caregiver. You do not need to worry about your loved one’s need as we have that covered.
If you know or are a long term caregiver, you can visit the Short-Term Respite Care page to learn more about our respite care program. You can also visit the CDC page, Caregiving (cdc.gov) to discover ways and access available resources for managing depression or stressors that emanate from caregiving.