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Caregiver Burnout – Getting Help

Being a caregiver can be stressful and challenging. While at some stage in our lives many of us will assume the role of caregiver for a loved one. Most of us are not aware of all that it involves that can lead to stress, anxiety, and exhaustion. When the stress of caregiving is left unchecked, it can take a toll on your health, relationships, and state of mind, eventually leading to caregiver burnout.

The job of a caregiver can strain even the strongest person, emotionally and physically, and at times seem impossible to manage. When someone gets to this point, it becomes very difficult to accomplish anything, let alone care for another person. That’s why you need to make time to rest, relax, and recharge.

Once you burn out, caregiving is no longer a healthy option for either you or the person you’re caring for. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to care for anyone else. Learning to recognize the signs of caregiver stress and burnout is the first step in dealing with the problem.

  • Anxiety and Stress – Inability to sleep, changes in appetite and weight (either loss or gain) can trigger anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed.
  • Exhaustion – Emotional or physical exhaustion can lead to real illness.
  • Changes in Mood and Behavior Feeling irritable or hopeless, angry, or that your life is out of control
  • Withdrawal and Apathy– Loss of interest in anything, withdrawal from friends or loved ones
  • Depression – Feelings of guilt due to your perceived inability to perform your role as caregiver, and all other symptoms combined, can lead to depression.

Caregiver burnout is nothing to be ashamed of – everyone needs a break sometimes. That’s why it’s important for you to know how and when to ask for help. Don’t try to manage caregiving alone – ask for help from friends and family who live near you to run errands, provide a hot meal, or just give you a break.

Take Care of Yourself 

There are many resources and tools available to help you provide care for your loved one. Asking for help is an important part of being a caregiver. Taking care of yourself will enable you to take care of your own needs as you care for your loved one in the best way possible. It can be easier said than done, but by getting someone to help out when you need it can make all the difference. 

Home Care Assistance provides innovative, creative, compassionate and committed home health care in the Kansas City metropolitan area. If you need to speak with a Care Manager or to schedule a free in-home consultation, contact us at 913-663-5000, or visit us online.