Caring for Burned-Out Caregivers
Available with English captions and subtitles in Spanish.
Caring for others can be a joyful and beautiful experience—or it can be detrimental to our well-being. Burnout in caretaker populations can go easily overlooked, as most attention may be given to the person being looked after.
A caregiver with burnout often feels overwhelmed and may be physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted from the stressors and weight of caring for loved ones.
So, how can we encourage caregivers to look after themselves without feeling guilty about allocating time away from those they care for? What are ways to gain more satisfaction from caregiving? How do we know if we’re burned out?
Marie Clouqueur, LICSW, shares ways to identify burnout in caregiver populations, discusses how we can prevent burnout from happening, and answers questions about how caretakers can prioritize their own needs when it may feel difficult to do so.
- Generally speaking, who and what is a caregiver?
- Is there such a thing as a typical caregiver? If so, how would you describe that individual?
- Can you talk about the scope of adversities that caregivers might help manage?
- What are some of the rewards of being a caregiver?
- How does caregiving tap into the power of purpose and service?
- What are some of the stressors that are put on family caregivers?
- What is caregiver burnout? And what does it look and feel like?
- Are there particular emotions that come into play around caregiver burnout? Can they become problematic?
- Are caregivers typically able to see when they’re falling into the trap of burnout?
- How can caregiver support groups help someone who might be struggling with burnout?
- What lessons have you learned from leading caregiver support groups?
- How can someone find a caregiver support group in their area?
- What is respite care and what types are typically available to caregivers?
- What are the benefits of online support groups versus in-person support groups?
- What are some mental health conditions that can develop for caregivers?
- When should a caregiver seek professional mental health care?
- How can caregiver stress impact one’s physical well-being?
- In what ways can family dynamics impact caregivers?
- Do you have any suggestions for someone wanting to start a caregiver support group in their area?
- What resources are out there for anyone looking for more information about caregiving?
- What is your message for somebody who might be struggling with caregiving right now?
The information discussed is intended to be educational and should not be used as a substitute for guidance provided by your health care provider. Please consult with your treatment team before making any changes to your care plan.
You may also find this information useful:
- Everything You Need To Know About Stress
- Video: Taking Care of Yourself & Others
- Video: Find Your Way Back From Burnout
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Support Groups
- American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) Support Groups
- Alzheimer’s Association Support Groups
- Massachusetts Aging Services Access Points (ASAP)
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline
- Alzheimer’s Association Helpline
- Parent Stress Line
- The Complete Family Guide to Dementia: Everything You Need to Know to Help Your Parent and Yourself – book by Thomas F. Harrison and Brent P. Forester, MD, MSc
About Marie Clouqueur
Marie Clouqueur, LICSW, is a geriatric case manager at McLean Hospital in the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry. She works to make the later stages of life healthy, fulfilling, and joyful for patients and caretakers alike.
Clinical care and research in the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry focus on older adults with depression, bipolar disorder, and behavioral complications of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
It’s important to think about ways to manage your mental health. McLean is committed to providing mental health and self-care resources for all who may need them. You and your family may find these strategies from McLean experts helpful to feel mentally balanced in your everyday lives.
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