When the responsibilities of caregiving start to become overwhelming, it can lead to caregiver burnout. If you want to avoid feeling burned out, you need to understand the causes of burnout. Here are five of the most common causes of caregiver burnout.
1. Unrealistic Expectations
When you first take on your new role, you may have unrealistic expectations. You may set an impractical timeline for your senior loved one’s recovery or underestimate how long it will take to complete your daily caregiving tasks. If you fail to meet these initial expectations, you may become discouraged. Instead of surrendering to negative thoughts, use the initial mistakes as learning opportunities and readjust your expectations to account for the new knowledge.
Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
Sometimes caregiver burnout is simply the result of exhaustion. Tending to a loved one can be emotionally and physically challenging. Every day, you may toil away to keep your loved one as comfortable as possible. You may also wake up too early, forget to eat right, and bottle up your emotions. If you’re exhausted for too long, your mind and body may eventually start giving up. To prevent exhaustion, you need to take care of your own needs. Get the recommended amount of sleep, drink eight glasses of water a day, eat fruits and vegetables, and make time every week for some cathartic exercise.
3. Too Much Responsibility
Many caregivers take on too much responsibility. They’re determined to provide the best possible care for their loved ones, and they overexert themselves. When you realize you’ve taken on too much responsibility, don’t be afraid to step back, reassess, and delegate. Ask family members to take on a few responsibilities, or hire in-home respite care for an afternoon every week.
Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. New Hampshire families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation.
4. Increased Stress Levels
Caregiving isn’t easy, and the daily difficulties of the job can lead to stress and anxiety. If you don’t have an outlet for stress, your anxiety levels could continue to spike. You may experience constant tension headaches or panic when confronted with obstacles. Your temper may flare more easily, and you might feel isolated or worried. If you notice your stress levels are increasing, find an outlet for your anxiety. Some people find meditation effective, while others prefer kickboxing or jogging. If anxiety-reducing habits aren’t enough, consider rearranging your daily schedule or reducing your workload.
5. Lack of Socialization
Caregivers who live with their senior loved ones may feel isolated at times. You might not feel comfortable leaving your loved one home unaccompanied, so you end up spending too much time alone. Regular social engagements such as weekly movie night or Sunday brunch fall by the wayside. Stay social, as loneliness can lead to burnout. If you feel isolated, reach out to family and friends.
Even when caregivers have robust social networks, sometimes it’s better to talk to people who understand the caregiving journey. When you feel uncertain or confused, seek guidance from a local support group. Support groups can be an endless source of assistance for new and experienced caregivers alike.
Families who need help caring for senior loved ones can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of New Hampshire home care service. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at (603) 471-3004.