Caregiver Burnout During COVID Times
Being a caregiver can be an exhausting and difficult task. It’s important to recognize caregiver burnout and cope healthily. Understanding caregiver burnout symptoms and coping mechanisms can help make caregiving more enjoyable and fulfilling. About 1 in 3 adults serves as an informal caregiver to another adult, like an aging parent or disabled relative. Although many find the opportunity to care for a loved one to be a privilege, it can also be demanding. Here is how to cope effectively.
Signs of Caregiver Burnout
- Lack of energy, sleeping too little or too much, feeling fatigued
- Sense of hopelessness, despair, loss of interest in hobbies and activates, moodswings
- Weight loss or gain, neglecting one’s own needs
- Impatient or irritable, worrying excessively, challenges coping with everyday tasks and problems
- Headaches, stomach aches, and other physical signs of stress, getting sick easily
Tips on Coping with Caregiver Burnout
- Ask for and accept help from others
- Set realistic goals and understand not all tasks can be done all of the time—you can say “NO” to extra request and demands
- Connect with others, find a support group, and talk to friends regularly
- Avoid common causes of burnout such as working too many hours, not having space to process emotions, and lack of sleep.
- Make time for yourself to rebuild and recharge—exercise, nap, self-care activities
Caregiving is very common in the United States. Check out these facts:
- About 43.5 millon people offer unpaid caregiving in the US
- About 15.7 million caregivers are helping someone with memory illness
- About 75% of caregivers are female
- About 57% of caregivers perform clinical tasks
- The average caregiver is 49 years old
- Family caregivers spend 24.4 hours caregiving a week on average
- 40% of caregivers are in high burden situations
If you or someone you know shows any signs of caregiver burnout, don’t be afraid to ask for help. How can you care for others when you don’t care for yourself.