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An Overview On Caregiver Burnout & How You Can Deal With It

Updated on January 7, 2014

Causes of Caregiver Burnout

Many of the caregivers put others well-being before their own, often neglecting their own time and health to provide a better quality of life for seniors. Even though taking care of one self is a huge factor in whether or not a caregiver experiences a burnout, it is not the sole factor that causes this widespread problem among caregivers.

According to WebMD, the following factors may also be the root of the problem:

  • Role Confusion - When you are a family member or a friend acting as the caregiver for a loved one, it might be difficult to separate the two roles and ultimately lead to confusions.
  • Poor Organization - Being a caregiver can be an overwhelming role to be in. Poor planning, lack of resources, and bad management can all cause frustrations.
  • Take On All the Burden - A common mentality of many caregivers is one of taking in all the responsibilities because they are the one providing the care. Moreover, they fail to seek support when they really need it.

How To Tell If You Have Caregiver Burnout?

Now that you understand some of the causes, and you are worried that you are at risk of caregiver burnout. What are some of the symptoms?

Mood Changes

It is not only a physical problem, it also affects the caregiver mentally as well. When you are going through caregiver burnout, you may have sudden mood changes. One moment you may feel angry, then sudden it turns into sadness, but soon after you just feel helpless altogether. These different emotions disrupts you daily routine, ability to perform, and a mix of mental and physical exhaustion.

Weakened Immune System

Have you been getting sick more easily or is it taking a longer time recover? When a person is depressed, their immune system can be compromised, leading to more frequent trips to the doctors.

Always Feeling The Tension

In some way, shape, or form, the tension is always following you. Whether it is the constant stress you are feeling, or you are simply unable to find ways to relax, you simply can't seem to shake off that tension.

Overreacting to Little Things

Frustrated, overwhelmed, confused, or helpless. These frequent emotions are causing you to lose your temper, instigating overreaction too often.

Have you experienced any of the symptoms mentioned above?

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Ways To Reverse Caregiver Burnout

You are experiencing some of the symptoms we mentioned above, what can you do to reverse them and live a better quality of life?

  1. Find Support - You are not alone. Caregiver burnout is a widespread problem, and there are support group or networks out there ready to help you. They can teach you methods and strategy on how to cope with your feelings.
  2. Talk with Someone - It is always good to have a confidant. Express your feelings with someone you trust, let go of some of the tension you have bottled up inside to limit or prevent random outbursts altogether.
  3. Make "Me" time a priority - You put your full effort in making the life of others better, but it is time to put some of that focus on yourself. Meditate, practice Yoga, get a massage, or even just listen to your favorite music.
  4. Find a hobby - Take your mind off the responsibilities of caregiving. Go out, find something you are passionate about and enjoy yourself!
  5. Seek professional help - If you feel like your symptoms are serious, see a doctor or depression specialists immediately.

What We've Learned So Far

  • Don't neglect the care of yourself
  • Many factors can cause burnout
  • Caregiver burnout is more common than you think.
  • Symptoms affect your health, it can affect how you treat others as well.
  • Don't give up, there are ways to combat caregiver burnout

Is It Possible To Avoid Burnout?

It might be more difficult to avoid caregiver burnout than experiencing it for some caregivers because the job requires so much attention and effort on them.

According the the the American Heart Association, there is a combination of things you can do to avoid burnout by following the ABC.

  • Avoid tabacco
  • Become more active
  • Choose good nutrition

Similar to having good fundamentals in sports, maintaining good health and living a healthy lifestyle provides you a good foundation and can put you in a far more advantageous position to succeed in avoiding caregiver burnout.

Humans are living longer, which means caregiving needs are growing demands among elderly population. It is almost inevitable to see a loved one in need of care, whether you are hoping to become a family caregiver, or to hire a professional care provide from agencies like A-1 Home Care, understand the caregiver burnout issue can go a long way in providing the best care for the seniors.


Try you best to learn as much as you can about the care recipient's condition, limitation, and other issues. That way, you can formulate the best plan of care, be comfortable as a caregiver, and most importantly, avoid the dreaded problems from having caregiver burnout!


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