Preventing Caregiver Burnout

The people most prone to burnout are family caregivers – people who devote themselves to the unpaid care of chronically ill or disabled family members. The demands of care giving can be overwhelming, especially if you feel you have little control over the situation or that you’re in over your head.

If you let the stress of caregiving progress to burnout, it can damage both your physical and mental health. So if you’re caring for a family member, it’s essential that you get the support you need. The good news is that you’re not alone. Help for a caregiver is available through Always Best Care Senior Services.

Warning signs of caregiver burnout
Once you burn out, caregiving is no longer a healthy option for either you or the person you’re caring for. So it’s important to watch for the warning signs of caregiver burnout and take action right away when you recognize the problem.

Common warning signs of caregiver burnout:

  • You have much less energy than you used to.
  • It seems as if you catch every cold or flu that’s going around.
  • You’re constantly exhausted, even after sleeping or taking a break.
  • You neglect your own needs, either because you’re too busy or you don’t care anymore.
  • Your life revolves around care giving, but it gives you little satisfaction.
  • You have trouble relaxing, even when help is available.
  • You’re increasingly impatient and irritable with the person you’re caring for.
  • You feel overwhelmed, helpless, and hopeless.

The first strategy for preventing caregiver burnout is: Don’t try to do it all alone. Taking on all of the responsibilities of caregiving without regular breaks or assistance is a surefire recipe for burnout.

Preventing caregiver burnout tip 1: Get the help you need.
Ask for help when you need it. Call Always Best Care to run errands, bring a hot meal, or “baby-sit” the care receiver so you can take a well-deserved break.

Preventing caregiver burnout tip 2: Seek emotional support.
Pablo Casals, the world-renowned cellist, said, “The capacity to care is the thing that gives life its deepest significance and meaning.” Although caregivers are often isolated from others, it’s essential that you receive the emotional support you need, so you don’t lose that capacity.

Share what you’re going through with at least one other person. Turn to a trusted friend or family member, join a support group, or make an appointment with a counselor or therapist. You can also draw strength from your faith. A congregation in a church or synagogue can provide the encouragement you need to feel good about your care giving role, and members may also be able to provide a break from time to time.

When you are a caregiver, finding time to nurture yourself might seem impossible. But you owe it to yourself to find the time. Without it, you may not have the mental or physical strength to deal with all of the stress you experience as a caregiver. Give yourself permission to rest and to do things that you enjoy on a daily basis. You will be a better caregiver for it.

Always Best Care can assist with caregiver burnout from one day a week just a few hours a day, to 24-hour care, seven days a week. Call your local Always Best Care office to find out how ABC can provide you with the support you deserve.


David J. Caesar is the Vice President of Franchise Operations at Always Best Care Senior Services. Through its network of independently owned and operated franchises, Always Best Care Senior Services provides non-medical in-home care, assisted living placement and skilled home health care for seniors across the country. Visit Always Best Care Senior Services at

Always Best Care Senior Services

Always Best Care Senior Services ( is based on the belief that having the right people for the right level of care means peace of mind for the client and family. Always Best Care Senior Services has assisted over 25,000 seniors, representing a wide range of illnesses and personal needs. This has established the company as one of the premier providers of in-home care, assisted living placement assistance, and skilled home health care.

May, 2010

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