Caregiver burnout is real.
According to WebMD, caregiver burnout is “a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude — from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned.”
Family Caregivers can tend to burnout when they take on too much, put everyone’s needs before their own and have optimistic expectations over what is in their control. Consider for a moment what would happen if all the responsibilities you are juggling no longer happen because you are no longer physically or mentally able to do them. This is probably a scary thought considering all that you do.
10 Warning Signs of Caregiver Burnout
As family Caregivers, it’s important that we keep an eye out for the these warning signs of burnout:
- Withdrawl from family & friends
- Losing interest in activities that you once loved and wouldn’t miss
- Relying on routine use of unhealthy substances to ‘get by’ or help with sleep
- Feeling anxious & irritable and having a short fuse
- Noticing changes in weight or appetite
- Feelings of hopelessness and thoughts of hurting yourself or the person you care for
- Delaying activities to replenish your energy & putting off dealing with your emotions
- Changes in your health such as becoming sick more often
- Feeling completely exhausted & overwhelmed by your daily activities
- Worrying about the future
If you are noticing that some of these warning signs fit your current situation, it is time to seek help. The good news is that you have a couple different options.
Caregiver Support Groups
Some family Caregivers find support groups to be beneficial.
You may find one in your area by contacting your church or local senior services organization.
The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging has a great tool for family Caregivers to locate resources based on where they live. Click here to enter in your location and find services for your and your loved one near you.
Some assisted living communities also offer support services for the families of their residents. I went to my first Caregiver support group meeting in my mom’s community.
If you live in the Atlanta area, consider joining us at the next Atlanta Daughterhood Circle meetup. Daughterhood circles are small groups that get together regularly to hang out, relax and help each other navigate caring for aging parents. What I love about being the leader for the Atlanta Daughterhood Circle is that I can always schedule it when I can go! Contact me to find out when we meet next.
If it’s too tough to breakaway to attend a live support meeting or you would prefer a group that is available when you need it, then an online community may be a fit. The Happy Healthy Caregiver Community was created for this reason. Our community is a private place where like minded family Caregivers could come and assist and encourage each other. I also wanted a place to organize all the resources and tips I have gathered. To join the online community, click here.
Private Consulting Sessions
Group support sessions aren’t for everyone. For family Caregivers that would prefer more privacy and personalized support, one-on-one consulting sessions may be a better fit.
Since becoming a Certified Caregiving Consultant, I have expanded my Happy Healthy Caregiver services to include private 1-on-1 consulting sessions. This formal training combined with my personal family Caregiving experiences positions me to help you better manage the demands of work, family, personal well-being and Caregiving.
I am the right consultant for you if you are:
- Open to trying new systems to find time for the things you love
- Ready to learn how to let go of some control and streamline parts of your life to reduce stress
- Anxious to incorporate more self-care into your daily activities to avoid Caregiver burnout
- Actively seeking positive relationships & feelings
- Requiring permission to prioritize your health & happiness
- Struggling to manage the demands of work, family, personal well-being & caregiving
- Wondering how to approach difficult conversations
- Ready to set boundaries so that you have more time to breathe
- Interested in creating your own personalized self-care plan
- Wanting to rekindle your own goals & dreams and feel optimistic about your future
To see if we are a fit for each other, I offer a complimentary 30 minute private consultation. Please contact me to schedule your consultation.
In addition to private consultations, I offer a standard presentation program called ‘Finding Time for What You Love’ that may be beneficial for your group or organization. I can present this program or offer it as a hands-on workshop. Click here to view the recorded webinar I presented on this topic.