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Caregiver Stress vs Caregiver Burnout

By Ilse du Bernard, 9:00 am on

Caregiving responsibilities can be demanding, and the daily stressors can add up to a case of burnout if you forget to take time out for yourself. It is not uncommon for hourly and live-in caregivers to overlook their need for respite until they begin to feel the physical and mental effects of stress. Once these symptoms appear, it is important to distinguish whether they are a simple case of stress or if they represent a more serious case of burnout that will require prompt attention.

Symptoms of Caregiver Stress

One of the easiest ways to determine if you are responding to stress is to identify if any recent changes have occurred in your routine that may have temporarily increased your feelings of being overwhelmed. The following symptoms are commonly reported by caregivers under intense stress:

• Feelings of anxiety, anger, or depression
• Occasional problems sleeping
• Feeling resentful
• Neglecting personal health
• Skimping on leisure time

When Stress Becomes Burnout

Although burnout most commonly occurs in long-term caregiving situations, it is important to understand that no one is immune to the possibility of burnout. Stress can build up in even a short period of time and cause the following symptoms:

• Weakened immune system
• Overwhelming fatigue
• Expressing irritability toward the senior
• No longer caring about personal health or happiness
• Life completely revolving around caregiving
• Inability to relax, even when relieved of duties
• Feelings of hopelessness

Having a strong network of support is essential for minimizing the effects of stress, and it can be a necessity in times when you are feeling burned out. Try to remember that your loved one benefits from having a caregiver who is happy and relaxed. Fortunately, burnout quickly dissipates once you have had some time to tend to your personal needs and alleviate the burden of stress. Whether you need a few hours each day or an occasional weekend away, North Houston respite care arrangements for your loved one should be part of your caregiving plans for preventing burnout.

If you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one and could use some time to rest and recharge, reach out to Home Care Assistance of North Houston. As a leading provider of senior home care North Houston families trust, we work closely with families and clients to ensure the right level of professional care is delivered while family caregivers are away, and all of our caregivers are experienced and expertly trained, thoroughly vetted, and licensed, bonded, and insured. To learn more about care services for your loved one, call a friendly Care Manager at 832-412-1345 and request a complimentary in-home consultation.