Caregiving Stress and Burnout (And How to Get Relief!)

Senior Woman Comforting Man With Depression At Home


Providing care for a loved one in need is truly a rewarding pursuit. As the caregiver, you’re able to improve your loved one’s quality of life, make sure that he or she is provided the appropriate health care by an attentive health care team, and make tasks of daily living easier and more enjoyable. Your loved one might be able to participate in hobbies, socialize with friends, and genuinely enjoy their lives, all thanks to your caring, guiding attention.

But what about you? Caregiving can also be incredibly stressful and physically and emotionally taxing. However rewarding and fulfilling the pursuit might be, it can leave you feeling exhausted, anxious, or in a perpetual state of stress, especially if the health of your loved one continues to deteriorate or they become particularly challenging to work with. In fact, caregiver stress and caregiver burnout are very real and understood concerns that come with lending in-home support to a loved one, and health care providers are increasingly recognizing that the caregiver, as much as the care recipient, needs attention and support.

So how do you know if you’ve got caregiver stress? You might feel:

  • Constantly anxious, depressed, or irritable,
  • Tired or run-down,
  • Increasingly resentful of your loved one or the person that you care for,
  • Less interested in, or just less able to participate in your leisure activities,
  • Unable to sleep well, or sleep enough,
  • Or like YOU might be having new and recurring health concerns that weren’t present before.

Worse than caregiver stress is caregiver burnout: here, your body, mind, and emotions have been taxed to the brink, and literally can’t go on. You begin to shut down, which can look like:

  • Your energy is utterly sapped,
  • You’re perpetually susceptible to colds, flu, or just never feel well anymore,
  • You don’t sleep well and the sleep you do get just doesn’t satisfy; you never feel rested,
  • Your own needs are neglected, either due to a lack of time, or just total apathy,
  • Caregiving no longer gives you any joy or satisfaction,
  • You’re unable to relax, even when you do get assistance or some time to yourself,
  • You feel helpless or hopeless,
  • Or you’ve become increasingly irritable, resentful of, and angry with your loved one for whom you provide care.

Caregiver burnout is concerning: not only does it mean your mind and body have taken a significant toll, but it also means your loved one is now not truly benefitting from your assistance in the way that they could, because you’re not fully present, alert, energetic, or interested in being there for them. But don’t worry! There are solutions to help you resolve your caregiver stress or caregiver burnout.

First, it’s important to practice self-care. Take some time for yourself – a personal day or vacation if you’re able, and truly spend some time relaxing. Read a book, take a bubble bath, or take a long walk – you can even meditate: whatever might help you feel more relaxed and centered. When you’re ready, spend some time thinking back on caregiving, framed in a new light. Recognize and applaud yourself for the great work that you’re doing. Even if you’re loved one is unable to thank you, thank yourself. Reach out to other friends or family for the emotional boost that you need. There are also caregiver support groups that can help remind you of your value and importance and can talk with you about your struggles and challenges.

Finally, consider reaching out for some long-term assistance. Your efforts with your loved one have been invaluable and have truly changed their life for the better, but if caregiver burnout is a real problem for you then it might mean that the burden of care has gotten too great. At Ameribest Home Care, we understand how trying caregiving can be, and we’re here to help. Let us help you find a dedicated in-home health care, skilled nurse, or other caregivers that can lift some of the burden off of your shoulders so that you can have more time to focus on yourself and your own care needs. Ameribest Home Care understands – providing the best care and support possible means caring for and supporting caregivers! We’re here to help you and your loved one live your best lives.

Female Community Nurse Visits Senior Woman At Home


What is a Home Health Aide? (And How Do I Become One?)

Employment Opportunities! - AmeriBest Home Care

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For people who’ve dealt with illness or injury, recent hospitalization, or are elderly and just need some extra assistance, entire teams of caregivers can be assembled swiftly and expertly to tend to their needs. Care teams typically have physicians, skilled nurses, and even dedicated in-home caregivers that all work together to keep the patient’s health on track, quality of life excellent, and independence within sight. But oftentimes there’s a member of the care team that, more than anyone else, serves as the eyes and ears for the patient’s overall health and wellbeing, and this person isn’t necessarily a healthcare professional at all: he or she is a home health aide, and is an essential part of that patient’s life.

The home health aide is the first line of support for patients requiring in-home care. Aides are often with their patients 40 hours a week, and assist with tasks of daily living, ensure a positive quality of life, and offer companionship and a friendly ear. Services provided by a home health aide include:

  • Assisting with showers & baths
  • Assisting with dressing
  • Hair, skin, foot, nail and oral care
  • Medication reminders
  • Meal preparation
  • Assisting with feeding
  • Assisting with ambulation (wheelchair, walker, cane, etc.)
  • Cleaning dentures
  • Washing clothes & linens
  • Light housekeeping
  • Repositioning in bed
  • Emptying urinary and ostomy bags
  • Limiting or encouraging fluids.

Female Community Nurse Visits Senior Woman At Home


What’s more, the home health aide is a patient’s lifeline. An aide is tasked with observing, documenting, and monitoring their patients’ health – when illness or issue occurs, it is the home health aide who must call upon the rest of the care team to ensure the patient’s health is prioritized. The home health aide also offers a friendly face and loving support: companionship for a person enduring illness or difficulty is paramount, and the loving, congenial spirit of the right home health aide can offer to heal beyond the purely medical.

Truly, a career that lets you offer this kind of love and support daily to someone in need is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding. And if you feel you’re the right person to take on this important and meaningful work, the role of home health aide can be yours! A home health aide does not need a medical degree, a college degree or even a high school diploma necessarily. Many home health agencies (like Ameribest Home Care) offer hands-on training, so you can enter into your patients’ home prepared and ready to take charge in assisting with their care and activities of daily living. Wages are competitive, and demand for home health aides will only grow in the foreseeable future.

What’s perhaps best about the position of home health aide is that, in many cases, the home health aide is a paid professional caring for their own loved one at home. If you’ve got a loved one who is struggling with activities of daily living as they age, or has just come out of the hospital, you could be the help that they’re looking for. The care and assistance that you’re offering your loved one already could be a part of your paid profession – imagine that! Reach out to Ameribest Home Care if this sounds like you – Ameribest is truly the best at hiring and training kind, talented, and capable home health aides, and is there to support you in your career journey. A fulfilling, rewarding, and exciting career of caring for your loved one or others in need could easily be in your future, and Ameribest Home Care can help you get there.