Recognizing Caregiver Burnout
As a caregiver of a senior, your days can be long and filled with responsibilities. You may feel run down, lethargic and like you are burning the candle at both ends. Taking care of yourself may fall at the end of the list. These are some of the symptoms of caregiver stress and burnout and you should pay close attention to them.
It is essential to take time for yourself not only to remain mentally and physically sharp, but to create a healthier, more sustainable relationship between you and your client.
There are ways to address these feelings and regain your energy with simple, common sense strategies. Here are some suggestions:
Be sure to visit your physician regularly (at least annually), and listen to what your body is telling you. Any exhaustion, stress, sleeplessness, or changes in appetite or behavior should be taken seriously.
Exercise not only boosts endorphins and energy, but metabolism as well; making one feel all around healthier and more alert. If exercise is something you’d like to do alone, we would encourage you to take even just 10 minutes (30 mins a day recommended) to yourself to take a walk, use an exercise machine, or do a work-out video. Choose an activity you enjoy doing; if you choose something you don’t like, you’ll never feel like doing it.
There also are many ways you can be active with a client. Here are a few ideas:
- Take a walk together outside to enjoy the fresh air
- Go to the mall and take a stroll indoors
- Do seated exercises at home
- Dance together to favorite music
- Garden or do other routine activities that you both enjoy
To learn more about caregiver burnout, take our assessment to gauge whether you’re beginning to feel burnout. If you have many “All the Time” answers on this assessment, you may want to consider incorporating these next steps (above) to regain your energy.