When an elderly resident of Alabama is no longer able to care for themselves, the family may consider several different options. One is an assisted living facility which allows the person to remain independent but have help when needed. Another is a nursing home facility, which is ideal for those who require specific medical care or are completely unable to care for themselves.

Another option is to hire a full-time caregiver or have a family member care for the individual. While this seems ideal, when the caregiver burns out, there can be serious problems. Even someone without a history of mistreatment or abuse can do uncharacteristic things when they start to burnout, so it is important to be able to recognize the signs of a caregiver wearing out.

Caregiver stress comes in many forms, but HelpGuide defines a few in the following:

  • Decreased energy
  • Regular illnesses, and the caregiver seems to catch every bug that goes around
  • Constant exhaustion even after a break or a good night’s sleep
  • Neglecting their own needs because they do not care or are too busy
  • Trouble relaxing even when they are not working
  • Irritability and impatience with the person they are caring for

Cleveland Clinic lists many things that can cause caregiver burnout. Unrealistic expectations, role confusion, unreasonable demands and lack of control are all common causes of caregiver burnout. Heading off caregiver burnout can do more than protect the caregiver themselves from depression and stress. It can also help to avoid abuse and neglect of the person being cared for, as the caregiver may be more likely to snap if they have no time to relax or get away from the expectations.