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“Burnout” is a word that all caregivers dread. It’s a change in attitude – from caring to aloof, from positive to negative – that is frequently triggered by the mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion of caring for someone else.
So that leaves us with the question, are all family caregivers at risk for burnout? Yes. And no differently than medical professionals or nurses are. Although caregivers put forth superhuman amounts of effort to care for their aging loved ones, they are only human and are subject to the same stress, exhaustion, and frustration as anyone else.
There are several burnout symptoms caregivers should be aware of. While caring for someone will have good days and challenging ones, you may be beginning to burn out if you frequently feel frustrated, impatient, physically tired or ill, hopeless, or like you must self-medicate to cope. If these describe your feelings on a continual basis, you may be experiencing caregiver burnout.
The good news for caregivers is that there are ways to help prevent and alleviate such feelings. Adequate sleep, a good diet, and regular self-care are integral to staying strong and fighting burnout. Sharing responsibilities with other family members is a good way to lessen your own load, which can help keep you from becoming overwhelmed. Professional at-home care in Santa Clarita can also allow you to take time for yourself, while still ensuring that your loved one gets the care they need.
Even though there’s a risk of burnout, it is not always inevitable. Schedule time off to write, read, take a walk, join a support group, or do whatever you need to do to process your feelings in a healthy way. Taking care of yourself is an investment in the care of the people who rely on you.
For more information about caregiver burnout or to learn about reliable respite care, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Santa Clarita today. We are dedicated to helping seniors age at home, while acting as a resource for their families during this new and often difficult stage of life. Call 661-259-9914 to speak with a friendly Care Manager. While we specialize in live-in care, we also provide Santa Clarita hourly care which can be great for respite and to support a family caregiving schedule.