It doesn’t matter who the person is, what kind of job they have, or what personal circumstances and stresses they are going through; there are going to be moments in life when exhaustion takes over. There are certain circumstances, more specifically, certain professions, where being overwhelmed and exhausted just isn’t an option. It’s even more important to recognize breaking points and do what it takes to relieve some stress before becoming burned out.
Whether it is a job that occupies their daily 9-5, or if it is a task they are taking on for a loved one, there is no denying that being a family caregiver can take on a physical and emotional toll. This can leave them feeling frequently overwhelmed, hopeless, and even depressed. If the caregiver is feeling that way, then those feelings will ultimately impact the quality of care of the patient.
Caregiver fatigue must be prevented at all costs, but in order to prevent caregiver fatigue, we must first understand what it is. Caregiver fatigue, or burnout, occurs when the caregiver has a negative change of attitude due to feelings of emotional or physical exhaustion. There are several factors that can contribute to these negative feelings, including role strain (or being unexpectedly put into the caregiver role), unreasonable demands, unrealistic expectations, or lack of control. Identifying caregiver burnout is the best way to treat it before the symptoms become severe and irreversible. If you or someone you know who is a caregiver has recently been experiencing withdrawal from friends and family, lack of motivation, excessive alcohol use, neglecting responsibilities, irritability, resentment, and feelings of depression, chances are they are experiencing this damaging and potentially dangerous fatigue.
There are some jobs where taking on more work doesn’t necessarily mean doing a better job. Being the best in a high-stress situation often doesn’t translate to high volume; it means understanding that providing quality work means identifying limits and stepping back when necessary. At CarePartners, we are committed to providing education, support, and resources to caregivers. It is our goal to provide caregivers opportunities for respite, a break from caregiving responsibilities. Through our programs: Gathering Place, Common Ground, Second Family and Caregiver Educational Events, a family caregiver can receive emotional support, quality care and resource information to help them provide the best quality care for their loved one. For more information on how we can support family caregivers in the beautiful work they do, visit our website or call us today.