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Caregiver Burnout

All Heart Home Care San Diego Caregiver Burnout

This article discuses the importance of caregiver burnout. Working as a caregiver can be very rewarding, particularly if you are caring for a loved one.  You get to spend time with someone you care about while giving them the best possible care and attention.

However, being a caregiver is also very hard work.  It is physically demanding, emotionally draining, and usually involves long hours.  Because caregivers are so focused on providing for their patient, they often forget to look after themselves.

If a caregiver is inattentive to their own needs, they may reach a point of burnout — where they are too emotionally or physically drained to continue performing their caregiving role adequately.  Caregivers who are burnt out may experience high levels of stress and anxiety, and are more likely injure themselves while caring for their patient.

If you are a caregiver, it is important to occasionally take a step back and assess your own well-being.  This article will provide a short questionnaire and some simple tips that can help you avoid caregiver burnout.

Are You in Danger of Caregiver Burnout?

Answer the following 8 questions then tally up your answers scoring 4 points for A, 3 points for B, 2 points for C and 1 point for D.

Do you always have the energy to perform domestic duties in the client’s home?

  1. Yes, always!
  2. Often
  3. Sometimes
  4. Seldom

Do you look forward to going to work and feel happy while working?

  1. Yes, always!
  2. Often
  3. Sometimes
  4. Seldom or never

How often do you feel irritable or angry?

  1. Seldom or never
  2. Sometimes
  3. Often
  4. Every day

Do you sleep well every night?

  1. Yes, always!
  2. Often
  3. Sometimes
  4. Seldom or never

Do you have time for hobbies and other things you enjoy?

  1. Yes, always!
  2. Often
  3. Sometimes
  4. Seldom or never

How often do you feel stressed or anxious?

  1. Seldom or never
  2. Sometimes
  3. Often
  4. Every day

Do you find yourself relying on coffee or other stimulants to get through the day?

  1. Seldom or never
  2. Sometimes
  3. Often
  4. Every day

Can you relax without the aid of alcohol or other sedatives?

  1. Yes, always!
  2. Often
  3. Sometimes
  4. Seldom or never

What did you score?

While this quiz is not a complete diagnostic test, it gives you some idea of your burnout risk.  If you are concerned about caregiver burnout, talk to health professionals, your employers, friends and/or family.

29-32 — Low risk

If you scored anything above 28, you are at very low risk of burnout.  However, it is still important to make time for yourself and recharge your batteries.

22-28 — Moderate risk

At this level you may be taking on too much work and letting your stress levels get too high.  Find more time to focus on your own physical and mental health.  Make an effort to get more rest and ask for assistance if needed.

15-21 — High risk

If you are at high risk of caregiver burnout, you should actively look for ways to reduce your workload and spend more time focusing on yourself.  Create a plan with activities designed to relieve stress and improve your health.

8-14 — Time for a break!

If you scored below 14, you should immediately seek assistance and reduce your workload.  You are already highly stressed and in need of help.  Ask friends, family, or health professionals for some assistance.

How to Avoid Caregiver Burnout

Some simple tips for reducing the risk of caregiver burnout include:

  • Always take out time for yourself
    Even if a caregiver is very busy, they should always make time for themselves. That time should include leisure activities and exercise.
  • Delegate when possible
    Make a list of all of the activities you perform as a caregiver and if possible, delegate some of those tasks to other people.
  • Join a support group
    Other caregivers will understand exactly how difficult the job is and what you are going through. There are both online and offline support groups available.
  • Create a routine to reduce anxiety
    Creating a daily routine can help remove some anxiety about the tasks that must be performed each day. Creating a routine also helps the caregiver realize which tasks are simply impossible to fit into the day.
  • Sleep more
    Caregiving is very exhausting! It is important to obtain plenty of rest and avoid consuming too many stimulants throughout the day.
  • Use technology to make your job easier
    Webcams and mobile phones can make it easier to stay in touch with a patient and respond to their needs. Emergency alert devices are also very useful for ensuring a patient remains safe.
  • Relax with music
    Music can help relieve stress and is also useful for improving mental health in seniors.

How All Heart Home Care Can Help

All Heart Home Care can provide trained and experienced Caregivers who will work in the client’s home. If you are worried about becoming burnt out, All Heart Home Care can fill in for a few hours, a few days or a few weeks.  You can recharge your batteries and take some time for yourself.  Some of the non-medical home care services we provide include:

  • Transportation to doctor’s appointments and social events
  • Performing exercise or assistance with rehabilitation assignments
  • Preparing meals in the home which can include grocery shopping
  • Performing domestic duties around the home
  • Helping the client with personal hygiene and getting dressed
  • Providing supervision and companionship for the client

If you are interested in learning more about caregiver burnout and our services, contact All Heart Home Care at 619-736-4677.  We offer in-home consultations and would love to discuss the many home care services we provide!

Eric Barth
Eric Barth
CEO and blogger for All Heart Home Care. I devote myself to helping seniors age in their own home while maintaining a feeling of independence, preserve their dignity, and enhance the quality of their life. I write these blogs to help educate the public on issues surrounding what seniors find to be the most important. My blogs are from my own personal research. I hope you enjoy my blog posts.

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