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Home Care Services can help Caregiver Burnout

Caregiver burnout is more common than you think. The enormous responsibilities of caring for an aging loved one while balancing work and family life has impacts.

Nearly half (46%) of family caregivers suffer from depression, one of the signs of caregiver burnout. Burnout should be taken seriously; it can impact your health for many years and in some cases may lead to chronic conditions like high blood pressure.

Research has shown that over time family caregivers can begin to experience negative feelings. Isolation and difficulty of feeling empathy are commonly the first signs of compassion fatigue. Knowing the causes of burnout can help identify them and address them as soon as they occur.

The five most common causes of caregiver burnout:

Emotional Exhaustion. Watching a loved one decline is one of the most challenging aspects of caregiving. You may become increasingly exhausted as you often can’t disengage from your caregiving responsibilities. It is important for caregivers to have strong self-care strategies in place. Reliable home care services are valuable so that you can have a break from caregiving responsibilities and refresh with good food, exercise and the company of friends.

Physical Exhaustion. The longer you are a caregiver, the more physically exhausted you may become. You realize that you have less energy than you once had. You may experience increased sleep disturbances, or despite a good night’s sleep, you wake up exhausted. By seeking help from home care services, you can minimise the risk of physical exhaustion.  

Stress Increases. Stress creates its own symptoms. You may feel as though you have less tolerance for daily events and obstacles and begin to have physical symptoms that can range from headaches to backaches. Home care services can help so that you don’t feel like you are alone and no one is there to support you.

Lack of Respite. Caregivers may believe that they cannot leave a senior in their care to take a break. This can result in loneliness, isolation, and despair. Taking regular breaks from caregiving, with help from home care services is essential to maintaining the ability to be a compassionate, engaged caregiver over the long term.

Lack of Support. Caregivers often care for a loved one without a support network. That may be okay at the beginning of the caregiving duties, but as your loved one’s condition worsens and responsibilities become more intense, support is necessary. Physicians, nurses, care managers, home care services, social workers, clergy, friends and family members can offer important support.

It’s important to know these causes and recognize any signs of burnout in their early stages. Your individual health is just as important as that of your loved one.

Feel free to reach out to us at Home Care Assistance, SE Melbourne, for professional carer support or just a friendly chat.

Smrity Bagga OT, Associate fellow ACHSM (03)90051159 Home Care Assistance South East Melbourne

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