Caregiver Stress and Burnout

Warning Signs of Caregiver Stress1

  • Anger at elder, family, doctors and/or service providers.
  • Withdrawal from activities.
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed.
  • Feelings of anxiety or constant worry.
  • Inability to find pleasure in anything anymore.
  • Exhaustion and/or sleeplessness.
  • Worsening of chronic conditions.
  • Irritability.
  • Lack of concentration.

Warning Signs of Caregiver Burnout2

  • Persistent symptoms.
  • Constant anxiety, irritability or anger.
  • Feelings of detachment, numbness or exhaustion.
  • Continuous self-criticism.
  • Withdrawal from usual activities.
  • Negligence or hatred of caregiving responsibilities.
  • Trouble at work or in relationships.
  • Substance abuse.

What Causes Caregiver Burnout3

  • Role confusion.
  • Unrealistic expectations.
  • Lack of control.
  • Unreasonable demands.

Tips for Avoiding Caregiving Burnout4

  • Schedule regular afternoon or evenings out.
  • Take time to talk with friends, either in person or on the phone.
  • Eat nutritious meals.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Make a list of jobs you could ask for help with.
  • Arrange adult day care.
  • Join a support group.
  • Draw strength from your faith.
  • Take time to pamper yourself.
  • Plan a weekend getaway.
  • Hire a temporary caregiver from a respite care program.

For More Information About Stress & Burnout

1. Alzheimer’s Association. (2007). Caregiver Stress. Symptoms of caregiver stress. Retrieved on October 21, 2007 from http://www.alz.org/living_with_alzheimers_caregiver_stress_Iwa.asp

2. Modnick, Kemp & White. (2007). Helpguide.org: Are you in danger of burnout? Retrieved on May 17, 2007 from http://www.helpguid.org/elder/respite_care.htm

3. WebMD.Com. (2002). Heart Disease Guide: What cause caregiver burnout? Retrieved October 21, 2007 from http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/heart-disease-recognizing-caregiver-burnout

4. 4therapy.com. (2007). Easing the stress of caregiving. Retrieved October 21, 2007 from http://www.4therapy.com/consumer/conditions/item.php?uniquied=5585&categoryid=452&

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