A caregiver is a person that provides physical and psychological care to someone else. A lot of times this can be for an aging and/or ill parent or partner. Caregivers help others that are unable to fully help themselves due to health, an illness, injury or an underlying medical condition such as Alzheimer's, cancer, stroke, mental health conditions, etc. This obviously isn't a complete list, but some of the heavy hitters that many people face.
The role of the caregiver could include helping with activities of daily living, preparing meals, completing housework, managing medication, managing finances, transportation, monitoring ongoing health, and advocating and communicating their needs with healthcare providers, insurance, and various agencies. Most importantly, a caregivers job is to make sure that the loved one in their care is as safe and healthy as possible.
Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion that can happen when you dedicate time and energy to manage the health and safety of someone else. Caregivers who experience burnout may feel tired, stressed, withdrawn, anxious and depressed. Caregiver burnout can impact a person in various ways, including physically, psychologically, financially and socially.
The signs and symptoms of caregiver burnout are similar to those of stress and depression. They include:
Emotional and physical exhaustion.
Withdrawal from friends, family and other loved ones.
Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed.