Blog > How to Recognize & Prevent Spousal Caregiver Burnout

According to the National Alliance of Caregiving the likelihood of receiving "free" care from a spouse is higher than that of any other family member. This is especially true when the care provided is particularly time intensive (21+ hours/week). Add the fact that this typically comes at a time when income is fixed and the caregiving spouse can understandably feel stressed and overwhelmed.

Needless to say, because of the significant changes in the marital relationship and added responsibilities, like finances and household chores, spousal caregivers can be especially prone to "caregiver burnout".

WebMD defines caregiver burnout as "a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude". As caregivers-and spousal caregivers especially-it's important to know and recognize the signs of burnout and learn how best to manage the symptoms.

10 Signs of Spousal Caregiver Burnout

  1. Withdrawal from your friends and family
  2. Lack of energy or overwhelming fatigue. Sleeping too little (or too much)
  3. Changes in appetite. Noticeable weight gain or weight loss
  4. An abnormal feeling of hopelessness, helplessness or depression
  5. Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  6. Increased headaches, stomach-aches, or getting sick more often than you used to.
  7. Neglecting your own physical and emotional needs
  8. Self medicating with alcohol and/or other medications
  9. Becoming unusually impatient, irritable or argumentative, especially when combined with feelings of wanting to hurt yourself or the person in your care
  10. Feeling of emotional exhaustion; difficulty coping with everyday things. The sense that caregiving is controlling your life.

Though this list is not be exhaustive, it gives some of the top warning signs we notice when addressing caregiver burnout.

It's important to remember that experiencing some of these signs is completely normal and, because of the situation, some symptoms of burnout may not be avoidable. Nevertheless, now that you know what to look for, here are a few tips to help you address caregiver burnout before it becomes a problem.

Top Tips to Prevent Spousal Caregiver Burnout

Too often we hear stories of a spouse getting overwhelmed in the care for their loved one and it's our desire to help. At Home by Choice it is our goal is to keep our clients safe, happy, and healthy in the comfort of their home. This includes assisting spouses in any way we can.

As a spousal caregiver, burnout can be a real challenge and we have designed our services with this in mind. Whether you need just a little help so you can take better care of yourself or you feel like you need someone to provide full-time assistance, we understand and we are here.

To schedule a free consultation simply contact us here, we'd love to discuss how we can help you and your spouse.

Posted on 08/14/2018 in Companionship

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