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As a caregiver, you encounter a range of challenges when providing ongoing support for your loved ones. Seeing the effects of aging can be emotionally taxing, especially when juggling multiple responsibilities like raising children or working full-time. However, there are effective tactics available to help you avoid burnout and manage stress as a senior caregiver.

What is Caregiver Burnout?

Caring for a loved one can be both rewarding and challenging. While it’s a fulfilling experience, it can also result in high amounts of stress. Over time, the emotional toll of caring for an aging loved one can escalate. This is where caregiver burnout comes in – a state of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. It may also be coupled with attitude changes toward your role. For example, you may start off caring and positive, and over time, become agitated and overwhelmed.  

Causes of Caregiver Burnout

Being a senior caregiver can be extremely challenging. Often your own needs go unmet while trying to fulfill your role. Between handling a hefty workload, raising children, and coping with physical demands, you can quickly become exhausted and eventually burned out. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the causes of caregiver burnout. Little to no privacy: Since you’re so busy caregiving, you may not have much time to unwind and be alone. Overlapping demands: Trying to handle multiple responsibilities can often lead to conflicting demands. These demands happen from the yearning to be there for loved one, meet the expectations of your employer, take care of your children, and support your spouse. Unrealistic expectations: You have good intentions and expect that the care you provide will have a substantial impact on your loved one. However, the expectations may be unrealistic when dealing with someone who has a progressive condition such as dementia or Parkinson’s.

SEE ALSO: 3 Things to Avoid After 70 Years Old (For Longer, Healthier Life)


Signs of Caregiver Burnout

Over time, the ongoing demands of caregiving can take a toll on even the most headstrong individuals. The following are signs that you or someone you know may be experiencing caregiver burnout: Elderly Woman stressed

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  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Activities that were previously enjoyed are no longer of interest
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Feelings of hopelessness and irritability
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Concentration issues
  • Physically and emotionally drained
  • Changes in mood

Tips to Reduce Stress as a Caregiver

The stress from taking care of your elderly loved one can lead to caregiver burnout if it’s not managed adequately, which can ultimately affect your well-being. But if you put the right tactics into practice, piloting your caregiving journey while maintaining your own health and peace of mind is within your grasp. Here we’ll explore essential tips designed to help reduce your stress and indulge in self-care. It’s ok to take a break: You must give yourself a break from time to time. Reach out to a family member, friend, or someone you trust to fill in the gaps while you enjoy a movie, take a walk, or head out to dinner. Use local services: Services, such as respite care, are a welcome form of relief while you take a much-needed break. Respite care can be just a few hours inside your home to a temporary stay at an assisted living facility. Be honest with yourself about your loved one’s condition: If your loved one is facing a progressive condition such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, you may need to accept that eventually, they’ll need additional assistance in an assisted living facility or nursing home. Get involved with a support group: Sometimes you may feel that you’re all alone, but communicating with other senior caregivers can help you drum up solutions and rejuvenate your spirits. Take time for yourself: Self-care is not a luxury, and in fact, is a necessity. While caregiving may take a chunk of your schedule, you’ll need some time for yourself.  

Assistance for Your Loved One

Caring for a senior loved one can feel like you’re all by yourself at times, but it’s important to keep in mind that resources and support are available. If you’re becoming too overwhelmed, you can turn to several resources to help with managing stress as a senior caregiver. Reaching out for help is the first step in making sure your loved one is getting the best possible care. Below are some of the resources available: Adult day care: At an adult day care, your loved one will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities while socializing with others. Home health care: You can contact a local home health agency that will provide a care team such as home health aids and nurses for in-home care. Assisted living facilities or nursing homes: Sometimes these facilities allow your loved one short-term respite stays so that you can get a break from your ongoing caregiving obligations.  

So, How do You Manage Stress and Burnout as a Caregiver?

It’s important that you understand how to properly manage stress as a senior caregiver. The role you’ve taken on is challenging and it’s important to realize that taking care of your own physical and mental health is needed. By executing the mentioned strategies such as taking a break, seeking support, and using available resources, you can overcome the undertakings of caregiving while maintaining your well-being. If you’re interested in learning more about our senior care services, contact our professional team at Senior Check-In today.


Senior Check-In 

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This information was provided by Senior Check-In in Indiana. Senior Check-In offers home care services including memory care, respite care, and companion care.

Interested in learning more about Senior Check-In? Contact us online, or call at (855) 420-1200.

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