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Caregiver Burnout

Burnout describes the state of an individual who, over a period of time, expends energy and effort without a balancing amount of time to recover from that expenditure. While this most often describes a reaction to a work environment, it does in fact apply to a variety of situations, including giving care to others.

Common Warning Signs of Caregiver Burnout

  1. Extreme fatigue, lack of concentration and insomnia
  2. Depression and loss of the ability to cope with everyday things
  3. Denial about the severity/outcome of illness
  4. Misdirected anger towards others, including the patient
  5. General irritability
  6. Mood swings
  7. Withdrawal from activities and friends
  8. Lack of appetite
  9. Expression of anxiety about the future
  10. General health problems

What Can You Do?
If you feel that some of these warning signs may be present for you or someone you know, consider asking a professional health care worker about ways to help avoid and recover from burnout. There are many options available, from asking other friends and family to help to having a professional health care worker come and assist on a regular basis.

Common Difficulties
While there are many difficulties that a caregiver may face in day to day care, here are the top three:

  1. No consistent help from other family members (76%)
  2. Sense of isolation and lack of understanding from others (43%)
  3. Loss of personal and leisure time (36%)

Last Updated: 9/12/2011