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ISSUES >> Caregivers

What are the Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout?

 

The symptoms of caregiver burnout are similar to the symptoms of stress and depression. They include:

  • Withdrawal from friends, family and other loved ones
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Feeling blue, irritable, hopeless and helpless
  • Changes in appetite, weight, or both
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Getting sick more often
  • Feelings of wanting to hurt yourself or the person for whom you are caring
  • Emotional and physical exhaustion
  • Irritability

What Causes Caregiver Burnout?

Caregivers often are so busy caring for others that they tend to neglect their own emotional, physical, and spiritual health. The demands on a caregiver's body, mind, and emotions can easily seem overwhelming, leading to fatigue and hopelessness - and, ultimately, burnout.

Other factors that can lead to caregiver burnout include:

Role confusion - Many people are confused when thrust into the role of caregiver. It can be difficult for a person to separate her role as caregiver from her role as spouse, lover, child, friend, etc.

Unrealistic expectations - Many caregivers expect their involvement to have a positive effect on the health and happiness of the patient. This may be unrealistic for patients suffering from a progressive disease, such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.

Lack of control - Many caregivers become frustrated by a lack of money, resources, and skills to effectively plan, manage, and organize their loved one's care.

Unreasonable demands - Some caregivers place unreasonable burdens upon themselves, in part because they see providing care as their exclusive responsibility.

Other factors - Many caregivers cannot recognize when they are suffering caregiver burnout and eventually get to the point where they cannot function effectively. They may even become sick themselves.

 

source: http://www.youradrcresource.org/services/family_caregivers.html

 

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