Providing care for an aging or disabled loved one is probably one of the hardest jobs you will ever do. Assisting with daily cares such as dressing, grooming, bathing, and walking is physically challenging. Maneuvering through the maze of medical and social services can be trying and time-consuming. Watching your loved one’s ability to care for themself deteriorate is emotionally difficult. And the changes in your own personal, social, and work life as a result of your caregiving obligations may leave you feeling confused, unhappy, and frustrated. These stresses can pile up on even the strongest of individuals and negatively impact your physical and mental health.
It is important to recognize when the challenges go beyond your ability to manage and into what is often called caregiver burnout which is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. Stressed caregivers may experience fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Learning to identify the warning signs of burnout and learn interventions to reduce stress levels will help make your caregiving role more manageable and enjoyable.