What Is Caregiver Burnout?

Caring for an ill loved one can be physically and emotionally stressful. Here's what you need to know. 


- Posted on Apr 10, 2018

Caregiver burnout

Being a caregiver for a loved one in need may be one of the most generous and fulfilling things a person can do. Along with the benefits, however, can come some negative physical and emotional side effects that caregivers should be aware of . 

What is caregiver burnout? 

According to the American Heart Association, caregiver burnout is the long-term stress experienced by those who are responsible for the care of an ill loved one. Here are just a few ways that caregiver burnout can manifest:

  • Appetite changes
  • Excessive use of alcohol or other drugs
  • Insomnia
  • Lashing out at others
  • Forgetfulness
  • Feelings of depression and loss of hope.

READ MORE: HOW TO ASK OTHERS FOR HELP WITH CAREGIVING.

If you're experiencing any or all of these symptoms of stress while caring for your loved one, know that you're not alone. Caregiver burnout is common and there is help and hope available.

Consult your doctor as well as a therapist or support group for caregivers to make sure you're paying attention to your physical and emotional needs. Ask friends and family to help you care for your loved one and be specific; whether it's giving you an afternoon or weekend to yourself, preparing a healthy dinner one night a week, doing laundry or cleaning your house, you may be surprised by the amount of support you can get when you share with others what specific things you need.

Make sure you have a daily source of inspiration; whether its reading Bible verses, praying, meditating, or reading inspiring stories, try to set aside time every day to reset your mind with an inspiring word. The better supported and cared for that you are, the better you can support and care for your loved one.

I feel so encouraged when I read the Daily Guideposts’ Devotionals. I love looking for ways to share these tidbits of faith with others. Thank you Guideposts, for sharing God’s love with more people than we can ever know!

-Rhonda V, Diamondhead, Mississippi

Tags: Caregiving
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