How to Recognize and Avoid Caregiver Burnout

By Valerie
August 16, 2010

What is Caregier Burnout?

At first most caregivers accept their new role as caregiver with a sense of idealism, hope and eagerness to do well. As time goes on fatigue may set in, disappointments and frustrations can and do occur.

Caregiver burnout or compassion fatigue is a sense of being completely overwhelmed and unrewarded (Carter, 1994) and is a common feeling among caregivers.

Many family members fail to realize how mentally and physically exhausting caregiving can be especially if mainly one member of the family is doing the caregiving. It doesn’t look that difficult on the outside.

Feeling “burned out” can be dangerous to both you and your loved one.

Feeling stressed over long periods of time WILL affect your health, motivation, attitude and mood as well as your ability to cope with your daily responsibilities but it can be avoided and is not permanent.

Caregiver burnout is a result of:

The following are considered WARNING SIGNS of burnout. It is important to take immediate action to improve your health and quality of life.

Common physical symptoms:

Common Emotional Sympotoms:



Excerpt material courtesy of Caregiver’s Survival Guide – Mid-Island Caregiver’s Network.

Free full copies containing additional caregiver information are available by contacting: or write to MIFCNS c/o 7516C Lantzville Road Lantzville, BC V0R 2H0

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