She offers four tips to help those working from home AND who now share space with spouses, children, and perhaps an aging parent.
Set your parents up for success by establishing routines and clear communication where possible.
Set boundaries both for them and yourself so that you can minimize or control the interruptions that shared work and home life will bring.
Overcommunicate your situation with co-workers and managers. Chances are, they are in similar positions or there will be other co-workers who are as eldercare comes out of hiding and into the mainstream.
Do not neglect your own self-care. Caregiver burnout was already a big deal even before COVID. For the working adult children of dependent parents, at least the office provided the odd respite from the chaos of home. Now that is gone for many, so self-care needs to be a priority.
For the full text of the article, see the link below.
Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion. It may be accompanied by a change in attitude, from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned. Burnout can occur when caregivers don’t get the help they need, or if they try to do more than they are able, physically or financially. Many caregivers also feel guilty if they spend time on themselves rather than on their ill or elderly loved ones. Caregivers who are “burned out” may experience fatigue, stress, anxiety and depression.
What causes caregiver burnout?
Caregivers often are so busy caring for others that they tend to neglect their own emotional, physical and spiritual health. The demands on a caregiver’s body, mind and emotions can easily seem overwhelming, leading to fatigue, hopelessness and ultimately burnout. Other factors that can lead to caregiver burnout include:
Role confusion: Many people are confused when thrust into the role of caregiver. It can be difficult for a person to separate her role as caregiver from her role as spouse, lover, child, friend or another close relationship.
Unrealistic expectations: Many caregivers expect their involvement to have a positive effect on the health and happiness of the patient. This may be unrealistic for patients suffering from a progressive disease, such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.
Lack of control: Many caregivers become frustrated by a lack of money, resources and skills to effectively plan, manage and organize their loved one’s care.
Unreasonable demands: Some caregivers place unreasonable burdens upon themselves, in part because they see providing care as their exclusive responsibility. Some family members such as siblings, adult children or the patient himself/herself may place unreasonable demands on the caregiver. They also may disregard their own responsibilities and place burdens on the person identified as primary caregiver.
Other factors: Many caregivers cannot recognize when they are suffering burnout and eventually get to the point where they cannot function effectively. They may even become sick themselves.
What are the symptoms of caregiver burnout?
The symptoms of caregiver burnout are similar to the symptoms of stress and depression. They include:
Withdrawal from friends, family and other loved ones
Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
Feeling blue, irritable, hopeless and helpless
Changes in appetite, weight or both
Changes in sleep patterns
Getting sick more often
Feelings of wanting to hurt yourself or the person for whom you are caring