Caregiver Stress and Burnout

Caregiver Stress and Burnout

While done with love, caring for a loved one with a disability can be an exhausting and demanding job, even to the most resilient people. This does not mean that the people who take on the responsibility aren’t good caregivers, but that they may need a bit of help coping with the demands of their job.

Fortunately, there are a number of steps can be taken to reduce stress and regain a sense of balance, joy and hope. One such step is short term accommodation and respite care. The National Disability Insurance Scheme in Australia has seen the importance of physical and mental health for the caregiver and offer funding for short term respite care for families across the Sunshine Coast.

In this post, we will discuss what caregiver burnout is, the signs of stress and ways to reduce burnout in the future.

What is Caregiver Burnout?

Caring for a loved one can be rewarding, but it involves a number of physical and mental strains. As caregiving is a long-term challenge, if these stressors are not addressed the emotional impact can quickly snowball.

Increased stress and frustration can take a toll on your health relationships and state of mind. This can lead to burnout, which is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. Not only does this begin to affect you, but the loved one you are caring for.

Signs Of Burnout

The demands on a caregiver’s body, mind and emotions can easily seem overwhelming, leading to fatigue and hopelessness. Learning to recognise the early signs of burnout is important so you are able to take a step back and address the emotions you are experiencing. 

  • Anxiety, depression, irritability.
  • Feeling tired and run down.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Overreacting to minor nuisances.
  • New or worsening health problems.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Feeling increasingly resentful.
  • Cutting back on leisure activities.

Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

Caring for your well-being is a necessity. Ensuring your own emotional and physical well-being is just as important as making sure your family member gets to their appointment and takes their medication on time.  Here are some steps you can take to help prevent caregiver burnout:

Focus on what you are able to provide:

It is normal to feel guilty about not being able to provide a perfect home for your family member. Realising that you are doing the best you can and what you have managed to accomplish so far is a great achievement.

Set realistic goals:

Setting realistic goals is an important part of managing the day-to-day activities of caregiving. While you can’t plan for every eventuality, understanding what needs to be done and having a game plan reduces stress levels. 

Set personal health goals:

Working towards fitness goals, improving your eating habits and finding time to relax is essential for maintaining your physical and mental health. 

Accept help:

There is no shame in asking for and accepting outside help. There are a number of respite services across the Sunshine Coast that can assist with care tasks. This gives you the opportunity to refresh and recharge, while ensuring your loved one receives the care they need.

The Bottom Line

It may be hard to imagine leaving your loved one in someone else’s care, but taking a break can be one of the best things you do for yourself, and them. As an NDIS service provider, Sapphire Support understands the importance of addressing caregiver burnout and supporting you in ensuring your well-being with Respite Care Accommodation in Sunshine Coast.