Owners' Blog

How to Handle Family Caregiver Burnout

By Greg and Hilary Eldridge

Caregiver in Johns Creek GA

Caregiver burnout is a common problem among family caregivers, especially since most do not take care of themselves while caring for the aging adult in their life. It could occur if the family Caregiver in Johns Creek GAcaregiver takes on too many responsibilities than they can handle. Along with feelings of stress, anxiety, fatigue and depression that comes with burnout, caregivers often feel guilty for having these feelings. If this negative emotional state is starting to appear, it is time to find out what the causes are and how they can be prevented:

Causes of Family Caregiver Burnout
Caring for seniors who are receiving in-home care can be equally rewarding as is stressful. In most cases, each day presents its own set of challenges depending on the elder’s disability. Those additional obligations can take up a majority of the caregivers’ time and energy, causing them to ignore their own emotional and physical health. Here are some of the main causes to keep in mind in order to prevent or find a solution to feelings of burnout.

  • Little to No Control:  Not having control over the budget or resources, as well as the lack of control of what the elder will need from you can be extremely stressful.
  • Unaware of What to Expect: Most people have a difficult time transitioning from a wife, spouse, child, or friend to a caregiver. They do not realize what their role is and what tasks they are going to be in charge of. Without knowing what to expect, it can be a very overwhelming experience.
  • High Demands: Caregivers put a lot of pressure on themselves when caring for a loved one, mostly because they feel fully responsible for the health and well-being of the elder.
  • Lifestyle Causes: Whether they are working too much outside of their caregiving role, not having enough time to socialize or have some downtime, or have not been getting enough sleep, these can all be causes of burnout.

How to Prevent Burnout
Now that you are aware of the causes that can create feelings of burnout, there are plenty of ways that these feelings can be prevented.

  • Talk to Other Caregivers: Before beginning the caregiving role, getting an inside look from other caregivers can really help the newbie understand what to expect. Support groups and online forums are all excellent options to help the caregiver get the answers they are looking for.
  • Know the Facts About Your Loved One’s Illness or Disability: Do some research to know what can be expected from the loved one accepting elder care.
  • Stay Healthy: Positive emotional and physical health starts with diet, exercise, and plenty of sleep.
  • Recognize the Symptoms: The family caregiver needs to listen to their body for symptoms of burnout in order to come up with a solution as quickly as possible.
  • Know Your Limits: Don’t be afraid to ask for help from other family members or friends if a break is needed.

Caregiver burnout can be a serious health problem and, if not taken care of, could result in serious health issues. With these tips, the caregiver will be able to understand what could be causing it and what can be done to prevent it.

If you or an aging loved one are looking for caregiver services in Johns Creek, GA, contact the caring staff at Home Helpers of Alpharetta. Call today (678) 430-8511.

WebMD. “Recognizing Caregiver Burnout.”

Smith, Melinda, MA. and Kemp, Gina, MA. “Caregiver Stress & Burnout.” (June 2015).