How to Handle Caregiver Burnout During the Pandemic?
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Caregiver burnout is categorised as a state of total physical, emotional and mental exhaustion.
This happens due to multiple demands, lack of resources, less energy and/ or lack of support.
There are many factors that may contribute to caregivers experiencing burnout.
Taking care of own health and wellbeing reduces the burden and facilitates better care to receivers.
First factor is the ambiguity regarding your role and how to best support the person.
Second factor is the lack of or limited resources such as money, professional support, skills, time, hospitals, etc.
Third factor is the nature of the illness. Terminal, long-lasting illness and disability can lead to putting in more hours and resources.
Fourth factor is the workload that you may experience. It can get tiring to juggle between caretaking along managing your own life.
Physical exhaustion: Constant body aches, fatigue, frequent headaches
Weak immune system: Falling constantly ill
Changes in appetite: Eating too much or very little
Sleep concerns: Disturbed sleep patterns
Isolation from others: Avoiding family members, friends, or coworkers
Loss of interest: Lack of motivation to resume hobbies or even day-to-day activities
Anxiety & depression: Constantly worrying about the patient, overthinking
Emotional changes: Feeling irritated, frustrated, worthless, hopeless and helpless
Neglect of your own health & priorities: Not following basic self-care
Stage one: Caregiver stress
Stress arises due to a sudden shift in the role of a caregiver. Handling the news, understanding treatment, gathering resources can lead to extreme stress and worry along with frustration.
Stage two: Caregiver burnout
As overwhelming feelings continue, prolonged stress leads to a state of breakdown. Neglecting of self in the process of caregiving and isolation may increase.
Stage three: Compassion Fatigue
A state of emotional and physical collapse where the caregiver has reduced ability to empathize towards the receiver and causes severe emotional distress.
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