Submitted by Carrie Gabryelewicz, Personal Care Social Worker at PPh

The demands of being a caregiver can be very rewarding, however can quickly become overwhelming. Caregivers need to be mindful that they remain aware of their own needs, and to not allow the role of being a caregiver take over their life.
Caring for a loved one is extremely difficult, from seeing the decline in physical and mental health to the realization that their loved one’s condition may not improve but could continue to get worse. If a caregiver does not address the stress they
feel, this stress can lead to caregiver burnout and serious health concerns for the care giver themselves.

Signs of caregiver stress include: increased anxiety, feeling more fatigued than usual, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, feeling resentful, and cutting back
on leisure activities. If not addressed, caregivers can develop their own physical or mental health conditions, relationship problems, and work problems. Signs of caregiver burnout include: entire life revolves around caregiving, tiredness, getting sick all the time, not finding joy in anything, extreme anger or frustration.

Help is available for caregivers to prevent burnout and reduce stress. Remember to take care of yourself: get plenty of rest, ask for help, talk to someone, join a
support group, be willing to give up some control of the situation to allow others to help, divide up care duties among those willing to help. Check with local churches
and hospitals for listings of support groups in your area.