Managing Caregiver Burnout – Caregiving from Burden to Opportunity

5 Tips for Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

Are you a family caregiver to a loved one? Many are. In fact, nearly 40 million Americans are caregivers. Six in 10 are employed while juggling caregiving. And a surprising 25% of family caregivers are Millennials. Many suffer caregiver burnout.

The Eliza Foundation has identified three major life stressors. If looked at closely, they impact our over-all health. The first one is caregiving followed by financial stress and relationship Issues. You can make the connection that caregiving can lead to both financial duress and relationship issues. So for many, it is easy to see why caregiving can be viewed in a negative light.

Just ask me. I’m a former caregiver and I suffered caregiver burnout. My mom passed away June 2. My sister was her first caregiver. She predeceased mom, dying at age 66 from lung cancer. Caregivers preceding the ones they care for in death is not uncommon. Forty-five percent of Alzheimer’s caregivers have worsened health than other caregivers.

Like my sister, 60% of caregivers die before the one they are taking care of. For her, caregiving was a burden, which started with her attitude toward it. When I took over mom’s caregiving in 2014, I was determined to make the best of it and not let it impact my health. Even as a health and aging professional who knew the issues, that was still hard. Here is how I approached it.