Caregiver stress & burnout
What are stressors?
Stressors are things that cause a person to feel stressed. Stressors can include a person, situation, or surrounding.
How do stressors impact caregivers?
Caregivers may experience stressors more frequently due to their many responsibilities. Most caregivers are not formally trained to provide care. Aspects of providing care may feel unfamiliar and uncertain which can lead to stress.
Examples of stressors may include:
- Changing caregiving demands;
- A change in mental or physical health of the person receiving care;
- Monitoring the person receiving care constantly;
- Feeling unsupported as a caregiver;
- Resistance from the person being cared for;
- Confusion about home care services;
- Conflicts with family members;
- Financial constraints;
- Lack of sleep;
- Social isolation;
- Time constraints; and
- Unfamiliar or inconsistent home care providers.
What is caregiver burnout?
Burnout is a term used to describe intense levels of long-term stress. It includes extreme mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. Caregiver burnout can influence mood, productivity, the ability to care for others, and/or the quality of relationships.
Common signs of burnout include:
- Fatigue (physical or mental);
- Feeling helpless or hopeless;
- Withdrawal from activities or relationships;
- Feeling edgy or irritable;
- Changes in sleep cycles;
- Changes in sexual activity;
- Increased likelihood of getting sick;
- Changes in appetite or weight; or
- Increased use of drugs or alcohol.