When Caregivers Feel the Burn

Sep 15, 2014   //   by Eleanor Keller   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

With the advent of seniors living for many more years than their ancestors, caregiver burnout has become a not-so-fun fact of life. It manifests itself in physical, emotional and mental exhaustion that results in a formerly positive attitude and caring disposition deteriorating into negativity and unconcern. It is generally caused by overwork and lack of adequate help.

The seven top symptoms of caregiver burnout are:
Constantly feeling tired, even after adequate rest.
Physical tension in muscles.
Headache, backache and generalized pain in the body.
Insomnia, anxiety, depression and frequent illness.
Anger, irritability, resentment and withdrawal from others.
Addictive behaviors like overeating, over-consumption of alcohol and illegal drug use.
Absence of a personal life.

There are some very important ways to help prevent caregiver burnout:
Find someone to confide in.
Seek help for tasks involved with caregiving duties.
Set aside quality time for yourself.
Talk to professionals about the problems you encounter in caregiving.
Take advantage of community respite care services like nurses, sitters and daycare.
Maintain healthy sleeping, eating and exercising habits.
Enlist other family members to provide respite care.
Join a local support group for caregivers.

Knowing where to seek help is key in order to prevent caregiver burnout.
Home health services provide aides and nurses for short-term care.
Adult day-care centers offer medical care and a place to socialize.
Nursing homes and assisted living communities offer short-term respite care.
Private aid professionals can advise and assess needs and help to find services.

Stay in contact with your local Agency on Aging or national organizations dedicated to elder care and their caregivers.

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