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Family Caregiver Burnout is Real, Rising and Preventable

When an individual is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, family members often begin with the best intentions to provide care themselves. But the reality of this tragic disease can quickly and easily strain even the most loving relationships. Alzheimer’s disease places extraordinary demands on caregivers, and while professionally-trained caregivers are taught to recognize when their emotional and physical capacities are being stressed, family caregivers can be over-stressed without realizing their own need to self-care.

Common symptoms of caregiver burnout include:

  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite, weight or both
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Resentment towards the person being cared for
  • Emotional and physical exhaustion

(Source: Recognizing Caregiver Burnout)

As Baby Boomers age and their children step into the role of caregiver, the incidence of burnout will increase unless caregivers take the time to learn about and practice prevention. The best way to prevent or alleviate the worst consequences of burnout is to ask for help. Local Alzheimer’s Associations provide many resources for caregivers, including support groups. Private duty care, like Comfort Keepers, and adult day care offer short-term options that assist with day-to-day tasks of caregiving. Longer-term care at residential facilities becomes necessary as the disease progresses.

Knowing when to seek professional help is difficult and vary from family to family. ComfortCare Homes has many resources that provide guidance for families looking for answers. Call today for a free consultation and assessment of current needs.

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