Caregiver burnout, or caregiver fatigue, can seem like a neverending cycle of frustration. This term describes when a person taking care of someone else begins to feel stress and exhaustion due to the responsibilities involved. Burnout can seem like an unavoidable result of the caregiving.
When a person experiences caregiver burnout, it takes time to recover. But unfortunately, there is no set timeline for how long it takes. When caring for another person, it’s important to take the time you need for self-care—this could include pursuing one of your hobbies, setting time aside to relax, and ensuring you’re leading a healthy life. Actively taking steps to prevent burnout can help you be at your best!
Sometimes, however, it’s best to get help. When caring for a senior loved one, many options are available to provide quality care. Ask yourself if your loved one would benefit from assisted living or if they need memory care. There are many professional communities that can help ensure your loved one is well taken care of.
What is Caregiver Burnout?
Caregiver burnout is the term used when a caregiver suffers from mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion due to caring for another person. This burnout can be detrimental to day-to-day life and a person’s mental state, and it can cause many health problems if unaddressed. This can include:
- Loss of interest in family, friends, and hobbies
- Feeling hopeless, anxious, or sad
- Change in appetite and weight loss
- Trouble with sleeping
- Irritability or frustration
A great deal of responsibility is involved when it comes to taking care of another person, and it is often too much for one person to handle. Because of the stress involved, caregivers are at a significantly higher risk of developing a mental health condition. In the last few years, it’s been found that family caregivers are almost 12 times more likely to develop mental health problems.
Caring for another person can be rewarding but extremely stressful. You’re often so busy taking care of the other person that you forget you have needs as well. And it’s important you take the steps necessary to take care of yourself.
How to Avoid Caregiver Burnout
There are some essential things to focus on to ensure you care for yourself just as much as the person you care for. It’s best to start with building a personal or self-care routine and doing your best to stick to it.
For example, if you have a hobby or passion that you like to do in your spare time, it’s important to set time aside for it when you can. Whether it’s listening to music, reading a book, or making soap at home, it’s important to dedicate time to the things that are important to you. Hobbies have been known to significantly help with mental health and reduce stress levels. When caring for another person, focusing on your passions and hobbies can make all the difference in the world.
It’s important to take breaks as well. When you’re caring for another person, it can often feel like it’s nonstop—there are errands, hygiene, cleaning, and all kinds of support involved. But you have to do all of these things for yourself as well. Sometimes, it’s best to take a step back and breathe. Taking breaks can help you recharge for when you’re back to taking care of your loved one.
If you need help caring for a senior loved one and you’re beginning to show signs of caregiver burnout, it may be a good idea to look into senior living communities. At the end of the day, sometimes your loved one may need more daily support than you can give, and that’s okay! These communities exist to make sure your loved one gets the support they need while still remaining as independent as possible, so you can rest easy knowing they’re well taken care of.
How to Recover From Caregiver Burnout
Unfortunately, there’s no set timeline for recovery from caregiver burnout. Some people can recover in a few days, and others can take years. Every person is different, and they need different things.
If you’re suffering from caregiver burnout and doing what you can to recover, take the time you need. After spending so long caring for someone else, it’s time to devote some of that energy to taking care of yourself.
When it comes to caring for a loved one, it can feel like you’re entirely alone, and you have the world on your shoulders. At Fox Trail Memory Care, we want you to know we’re here to help. If your loved one needs a memory care community focused on making sure every resident is loved and taken care of, schedule a tour with us today. Caregiver burnout is best avoided, so let us help!