What is Burned-Out Caregiver Syndrome?
Avoid the burnout

Also referred to as the exhausted caregiver syndrome, the burned-out caregiver syndrome is a state of mental and physical exhaustion experienced by caregivers after providing care for a long time.

It is a fact that caring for a dependent individual is challenging, especially if the person providing the services is elderly. The caregiver is tasked with meeting the overwhelming and increasing needs of the individual with the added knowledge that despite his hard work, the person's health condition is not improving.

This state of prolonged stress ends up being harmful to the caregiver. They experience a deep sense of frustration, leading to depression for their inability to improve the situation. Although burnout caregiver syndrome is unusual, it is experienced by 85 per cent of caregivers. Due to this, caregivers should be closely monitored to identify the problem as it emerges to prevent them from suffering from depression. Family members should practice caring for the caregiver.

Symptoms of Burn-out Caregiver Syndrome

The symptoms below are exhibited when the caregiver suffers the burden of carrying the person's needs dependent on them. Caregivers suffer from this syndrome as besides dealing with the dependent person, they also have to deal with other responsibilities, such as taking care of their families and work. The symptoms include:

  • Depression and feeling anxious

  • Feeling exhausted and tired

  • Nightmares and lack of sufficient sleep

  • Pain in the neck and unexplained headaches

  • Overreaction to insignificant annoyances

  • Worsening of existing ailments or emergence of new health problems

  • Problems focusing

  • Resentment towards people around you

  • Lack of interest in taking part in leisure activities

  • Neglecting your social relationships

  • Unhappiness and a constant urge to run away or cry

  • Loss of energy and fatigue

  • Bulimia or loss of appetite

  • Increased use of alcohol or starting to take drugs

  • Loss of interest in things that previously excited you

  • Neglecting to take care of your appearance and other needs

  • Problems relaxing

  • A tendency to base your whole life around the needs of the person you are taking care of, such as when caring for parents

  • Easily irritated and impatient

  • A feeling of hopelessness and helplessness

It is essential to identify the symptoms of carers stress and burnout in an elderly caregiver. Equally important is the ability to recognise that a caregiver suffering from burnout will not provide their services effectively. Therefore, the family must take good care of the caregiver to maintain their mental and physical state to care for their loved one effectively.

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How does Exhaustion or Burn-out Change the Life of a Carer?

To effectively attend to care and the needs of the dependent person, the caregiver has to change their usual hours and working life. When this goes on for some time, work demands increase, resulting in the caregiver isolating themselves from their social life, work, and family. The work of a caregiver also diminishes his economic situation as he spends much of his time taking care of the dependent person.

Caregiver burned out syndrome is a common condition, especially if the dependent person and the caregiver live in the same house, such as when taking care for elderly parent. Therefore, in most instances, the dependent family member takes advantage of the caregiver by asking for more help than is necessary. This causes mental and physical fatigue in the caregiver.

10 Ways to Avoid Burnout Caregiver Syndrome

At Cuidum, we specialise in taking care of dependents and the elderly. We have many years of extensive experience in taking care of the elderly. This experience enables us to provide a range of essential tips to prevent carer burnout on the caregiver or the dependent's family members caring for the sick person, the elderly, or the dependent person.

  1. Before you care for another person, take care of yourself first

  2. When feeling overwhelmed, do not hesitate to ask for help and collaboration from other family members

  3. Promote the independence of the dependent individual

  4. Consult institutions such as Cuidum for care information

  5. Dedicate some hours for personal needs daily

  6. Maintain your social and personal relationships

  7. If you feel sick, consult a specialist and do not treat yourself

  8. Utilise a help desk

  9. Learn to acknowledge and appreciate the condition of the patient and your status as a caregiver suffering from burnout syndrome.

  10. Have practical expectations about the health condition of your loved one

To effectively take care of another person, you have to first take care of yourself. If you would like to find out how to treat caregiver burnout, consult specialists like Cuidum for professional advice. They will also guide you on how to recover from caregiver burnout. Family members who live with a dependent person and the caregiver should regularly give the caregiver time to rest and rejuvenate to avoid burnout caregiver syndrome.

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