How To Identify A Houston Caregiver Burnout
Anyone, including caregivers, can have a burnout. Caregiver burnout can be described as a stage of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion which may be followed by a change in attitude towards those he/she is taking care of. Such kind of fatigue can make an otherwise caring and happy person become unconcerned and even negative on everything. Such burnout slides in when a caregiver is forced to do more than he/she can manage or doesn’t get enough rest between shifts. Some caregivers often feel guilty when they spend some time on themselves rather than caring for their elderly or ill loved ones, a factor that causes them to experience stress, fatigue, depression, and anxiety.
What Makes Caregiving Such A Difficult Job
Caring for a sick loved one, or a senior is never an easy task. Caregiving demands absolute dedication with many spending much of their time ‘on-call’. One is therefore forced to juggle between caring for the senior/ill person and his/her usual way of life. It’s worth remembering that, caregivers to have a life, work, and even children they need to take care of. Many rarely get a few minutes of free time for themselves.
Seeing your loved one in his/her condition, or get worse by the day is something that not many people can stand. Some of the changes a caregiver often has to see include:
- Progression of dementia makes the patient unable to recognize or know you
- The patient may be too ill to speak or even follow simple steps.
- Behavioral problems including hitting, yelling, and wandering away from the facility or home. Such is prevalent with persons who have dementia.
- A worsening condition
Signs & Symptoms Of A Caregiver Burnout
Caregivers suffer almost similar signs and symptoms of stress and depression due to burnout. The most common signs include:
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Lack of interest in fun activities the person used to enjoy before
- A feeling of hopelessness, irritability, helplessness, and blue
- Changes in weight and appetite
- Inability to fall or stay asleep
- Susceptibility to infections
- Physical and emotional exhaustion
- An urge to hurt oneself or the person, he/she, is caring for
- Excessive use of sleeping pills and alcohol
Factors That Lead To Caregiver Burnout
Studies show that caregivers will often be concerned about the person they are caring for, ultimately forgetting about their health and hygiene. Most of them will forget about their emotional spiritual and physical health, with many not even taking a break from work. This almost always leads to hopelessness, fatigue, and burnout. Other factors that may contribute to caregiver burnout include:
- Role confusion: Many people will forget their other roles or life once they get into caregiving. This makes it hard for them to distinguish their role as a lover, spouse, friend, child from a caregiver.
- Impractical expectations: A caregiver will sometimes expect to bring a wave of positivity, happiness, and good health to the patient. This may however not be realistic, especially if the patient is suffering from progressive conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.
- Frustration: Lack of resources, money, and skills to plan and manage the loved one’s care needs may frustrate a caregiver.
- Unnecessary demands: A caregiver may place unreasonable burdens upon themselves, some of which are hard to handle alone.
- External factors: External factors, including pressure from other family members, lack of finances, and even sickness may lead to caregiver burnout. While the caregiver’s role may be to take care of the sick or elderly, they too need some love and someone to look after them.