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Mama Needs a Break

What is caregiver stress?

By: Alyxandria Herring

Caregiver stress (also known as caregiver burnout) is a condition where a caregiver experiences emotional and physical burnout providing care.

A caregiver is someone who provides physical and/or emotional support to someone who no longer cares for themselves, such as those who suffer from dementia or arthritis.

If a caregiver were to feel overwhelmed with responsibilities, unable to get the help they need, or taking on more than they are able to, then they may be susceptible to caregiver burnout. Signs of caregiver stress include feeling tired, feeling increasingly resentful, negligence of responsibilities, irritability, depression, and difficulties sleeping.

It’s important to prevent and relieve stress as long-term stress can lead to more serious health problems such as a weakened immune system, a higher probability of developing chronic diseases, difficulties with short-term memory and focusing, and depression.

Prevention of caregiver stress includes taking time for yourself and your health, asking for help, organizing differently, celebrating the small victories and looking for silver linings. Joining support groups and finding other resources for caregivers in your community are also easy to help relieve and prevent caregiver stress.

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