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What Is Caregiver Burnout? Common Causes and How to Prevent It

What Is Caregiver Burnout? Common Causes and How to Prevent It

Caregiver burnout is a state of complete physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that is typically accompanied by a shift in attitude (from positive to negative). Oftentimes, caregivers become so busy with taking care of others that they end up neglecting their own physical, emotional, social, and spiritual health, thus, leading to burnout.

Common Causes of Burnout

As a leading provider of Home and Community Care in Winnfield, LA, Future Expectations Community Care Services believes that by understanding the common causes of burnout, caregivers can find more effective ways to avoid it. Here are the things that you need to watch out for:

  • Unrealistic Expectations.
    Majority of caregivers expect that through their involvement, they can immediately improve the health and happiness of the person that they are taking care of. However, this is a fairly unrealistic expectation that may lead to frustration later on when the caregiver isn’t seeing any positive improvements in the person they are taking care of. For instance, caregivers who are taking care of someone with a progressive disease (e.g. cancer, Alzheimer’s disease), may have to accept the fact that there are limits to what they can do to improve that person’s condition.
  • Confusion.
    Majority of family caregivers who are thrust into the role of caregiver may feel confused about their role and what they should do. They may end up feeling overwhelmed and they may find it difficult to separate their responsibilities and role as a caregiver, a spouse, a child, a parent, and etc. This confusion may lead to burnout when the caregiver feels like they are pulled in so many directions and roles.
  • Irrational Demands.
    Some family caregivers often feel like taking care of their loved one is their sole responsibility. They place irrational demands on themselves and more often than not, they take on responsibilities that they are not really prepared or equipped for. While caring for a loved one is admirable, we want to remind you that you don’t have to do everything on your own. It is okay to reach out to others for help.

Preventing Burnout

Now that you have identified some of the common causes of burnout, here are some things that you can do to prevent them:

  • Set realistic goals and learn to accept that some things are out of your control.
  • Join a support group and talk to people who can empathize with your situation.
  • Take a break away from your caregiving responsibilities.
  • Don’t skip out on your health appointments. Don’t ignore signs of illness as well.
  • Take care of yourself. Exercise, continue to eat well, and don’t sacrifice sleep.
  • Take advantage of respite care services.

Let us help you and your family. If you need Community Care in Alexandria, LA, reach out to us and learn more about waiver services and other programs that may be useful for your situation.

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