A common cause of elder abuse and neglect is caregiver burnout. It is possible to burn out as a caretaker whether one is a professional or a family member. Understanding the signs of caregiver burnout is paramount when it comes to protecting our older loved ones.
A burnt-out caregiver is dangerous both to him or herself and the people under his or her care. For instance, a burnt-out caregiver may accidentally mismanage medications, which can cause serious problems. According to the AARP, you should be aware of the signs of caregiver burnout in yourself and others and understand resources to help you deal with stress.
Common signs of caregiver burnout
Common signs of caregiver burnout include exhaustion, and inability to concentrate, sleeplessness and general anxiety. You may also feel anger or frustration with the person you are taking care of. This can ultimately result in depression or social withdrawal.
Tips to reduce stress
It is important for caregivers to take breaks. This is why understaffed nursing homes are more likely to result in abuse and neglect: the staff does not take breaks frequently enough. If you are a caretaker yourself, you may benefit from joining a support group so that you can speak with other caregivers and give each other plenty of support.
Simplifying communication methods is good both on the personal and professional levels. If your loved one is living in a facility, make sure that you have a reliable and simple way to communicate with the staff. If you are the caretaker, you may benefit from creating a streamlined method of sharing information with other family members. Constantly posting on social media or sending emails may exhaust you.