Defined as: a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude-- from positive caring to negative and unconcerned. Burnout can occur when caregivers don't get the help they need or if they try to do more than they are able (physically or financially). Symptoms: withdrawal from friends and family, loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed, feeling blue, irritable, hopeless, helpless, changes in weight, appetite or both. Changes in sleep patterns, getting sick more often, feelings of wanting to hurt yourself or the person for which you are caring for. Excessive use of alcohol and/or sleep medications. Irritability.
If you are experiencing burn out or fatigue- you are not alone.
Veteran's Affairs Caregiver Support Line: 1(855)260-3274
Alzheimer's Orange County 24/7 helpline:
Alzheimer's Association 24/7 helpline:
Los Angeles Caregiver Resource Center:
Call us today and we can help you find the support you need.
Prevention techniques: Find a trusted friend, family member or neighbor to talk about your feelings with. Set realistic goals -accept that you may need help with care. Do NOT forget about yourself- set aside time to do something you enjoy daily- even if it's only a short time- take a walk, exercise, meditate, or read a book. Know and learn your limits and personal style- what works and doesn't work for you. Educate yourself- the more you know about the illness the better prepared you will be. Progressive diseases require a lot of knowledge to properly manage them- such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and dementia. Develop tools for coping- look for the positive, use humor to deal with everyday stresses, stay healthy- eating well , good sleep and exercise help you remain healthy to care for your loved one. Having frustration, anger or resentment is a 'normal' part of the caregiving process- accept your feelings and know that it doesn't make you a bad person or caregiver for having them.