There is no doubt about it—caregiving is a tough job. This is especially true for primary caregivers or those who take on the main caregiving for their loved ones. This is because, aside from the tasks that come with this labor of love, which, not having been trained to provide nursing services are oftentimes unprepared for, there is also the matter of role confusion. This refers to the difficulty of separating their role as a primary caregiver from their role as a spouse, lover, or child, among others. Unfortunately, without intervention, the challenge of taking care of a loved one can result in what is called caregiver burnout. Caregiver burnout is a condition wherein a person tasked with caregiving experiences fatigue, anxiety, and depression, as well as physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion as a result of their role. Oftentimes, per our experience providing adult day services in Virginia at Raspberry Hill Adult Daytime Center, caregivers themselves cannot recognize when this happens. Many also feel guilty when they take a break or spend time on themselves. That is why, as friends and family members, we must know how to recognize the signs of caregiver burnout as we see it. This is the first step to addressing the issue and preventing caregiver burnout from happening in the first place.
- Withdrawal from friends, family and other loved ones
- Feeling blue, irritable, hopeless, and helpless
- Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
- Changes in sleep patterns, appetite, and/or weight
- Losing patience and expressing wanting to hurt themselves or the person whom they are caring for