It is a fact of life that the young grows old one day if the life cycle makes a complete round. Hence, caregivers to the young and the old are essential to the cycle of life. The young are not able to care for themselves as they do not have the knowledge or experience as yet. They need to be taught and shown how. Whereas the old are frail and weak with many health issues that limit their movements and capabilities. Both these categories fall at the opposite ends of the life spectrum.

The caregiver is an important element to these two groups of people. However, the giving of care may be too much at times for a caregiver. Caregivers are subject to stress and burnout as with any other job. The demands on a caregiver are high when you do not have much control over the circumstances. Hence, the caregiver must be alert to the signs of weariness in his responsibility when caring for the young or the old.

Dangers of Burnout

Burnout can damage the caregiver’s physical health as well as mental health. A caregiver needs good and strong support to provide the necessary and effective care to his wards.

Stress can build up easily if not checked and control. It can cause burnout to a caregiver, rendering him or her ineffective in his/her responsibilities. Frustration, despair, guilt and throwing in the towel feelings may creep up on the caregiver who does not manage his stress well in his care giving responsibilities.

But there are workable steps which a caregiver can take to avoid burnout.

Maximize your knowledge about the illness

A caregiver will feel more in control and confident when he is familiar with the illness of his charge. With the knowledge, you are able to assess the situation and patient correctly every time and administer the right treatment, whether it is medication or counseling. Your care giving effort would be more effective and you will reap joy and satisfaction as you notice good results.

Care giving boundaries

Know your strengths and weaknesses as a caregiver. Determine how much time you will offer as a caregiver with your strengths while working to improve your weaknesses. Communicate these traits and expectations to your supporting staff so that you will not be given unnecessary pressure in your responsibility.

Unleash your feelings

Care giving is an emotional job; varied emotions can be triggered. A caregiver must learn to allow her feelings to surface, accepted and cleared so that they do not be a burden in the future.

Cooperation with others

A caregiver is not a lone ranger; there should be a team of caregivers working together who can support each other at work and emotionally. This group must be trustworthy and professional in their character as they handle their roles as caregivers.

Author's Bio: 

Volumocity is a community for the sharing of ideas and tools to bring balance, ease, and enrichment back into modern hectic lives. At Volumocity, we seek to find ways to share ideas on elder care that bring true meaning on childcare and authenticity into crunch generation.