Stress and Burnout of Caregiving is Tough.
Individuals that provide caregiving services to loved ones that suffer from long-term illnesses and advanced stage illnesses often experience stress and burn out. If you are a caregiver, it is quite likely that you are discovering that you now face many new responsibilities. As a result of the unfamiliar responsibilities and the adjustments that you have to make within your own life, it is also likely that you are experiencing varying degrees of stress. It is common to feel overwhelmed and as if you are battling the process alone. Millions of people provide care to loved ones out of their love for the person that is facing illness and their loyalty. However, despite the fact that it is a common situation, it is a challenging endeavor. You may face both psychological and physiological complications as a result of your newfound role. However, it is also common to discover that caregiving may impact your financial livelihood, as well. In this guide, you will learn about the stress and burn out of caregiving and how to successfully overcome the financial toll of providing care to a loved one.
Stress and Burnout Related To Caregiving
Now that you find yourself providing caregiving services to a loved one, you understand that the demands associated with the position have the potential to be extremely overwhelming. This is especially true for those that provide services to others and feel as if they lack control over the new tasks and responsibilities that are required. The stress that the tasks result in have the potential to negatively impact virtually every area of your life, especially if you are struggling from financial complications as a result of your new responsibilities. You may find that you start to struggle with your own health, that you start experiencing problems with your relationships and that you start experiencing psychological issues such as anxiety, depression and issues that are similar in nature. When these problems occur, it indicates that you are suffering from both stress and burn out. While the very nature of caregiving is complicated, this complication is greatly enhanced when you suffer from financial burdens as a result of the services that you provide to a loved one. When asked, most caregivers claim that their number one stressor is not the care they provide, or the responsibilities that they are new to; it is the financial toll that is experienced by engaging in the care.
The Changes Caused By Stress and Burnout
Stress and burn out among caregivers is a common occurrence. While it is true that helping a loved one is a very rewarding experience, many find that the financial complications typically associated with the new responsibilities that they face result in many detrimental changes within their lives. This is especially true given the fact that the current economic climate is extremely unstable. Many caregivers find that they start to miss work more frequently, that they fall behind on their projects at work, their availability for professional tasks becomes extremely limited and that the general quality of their work lacks value. The act of caregiving and the stress and burn out associated with caregiving may interfere with your ability to work regular hours, your ability to sign up for overtime, issues in getting to work on time and complications focusing on your work. The changes that stem from obligating yourself to the care of a loved one extend past simple schedule adjustments. They may impact your ability to make money, meet your financial obligations and save money. It is difficult to balance a traditional job and providing care to a loved one. This is why, in order to avoid stress and burnout, many caregivers opt for a work at home job that will provide them with the ability to have a flexible schedule, higher levels of availability and the ability to make an income that is suitable to meet their financial obligations.
Basic Statistics Related to Stress and Burnout
According to information derived from the organizations known as “Evercare” and the “National Alliance for Caregiving”, it has been established that caregivers do more than simply tend and assist in the everyday activities of their loved ones. Additionally, most caregivers assist their loved ones financially, as well. Based on national studies, well over 30 million individuals in the United States provide care to a loved one over the age of 50. Then, there are over 10 million people providing caregiving services to individuals under the age of 50. Worrying over financial issues is one of the most reported causes of stress for caregivers. Many people that care for others must leave their jobs or are pushed out of the workplace due to various reasons. This, coupled with the out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of providing care to a loved one, results in many people seeking at home work opportunities in order to make ends meet. In order to understand the economic impact of helping a loved one facing an illness, consider the following basic statistics:
- According to a survey conducted by Evercare, caregivers experience over $5,000.00 worth of out-of-pocket expenses annually as a result of assisting their loved ones.
- The most common expenses noted were assisting in providing goods for the home, transportation costs and assisting in medical expenses and purchasing medications for loved ones.
- Caregivers commonly cut back on activities such as vacations, putting aside money for their savings, and avoiding major purchases for their own lives in order to provide financial assistance to their loved ones. This leads to high levels of stress as the caregiver often feels as if they have no control over their money.
- 37% of the people questioned in the survey indicated that they had to quit the job or limit the amount of hours that they worked, while 35% were still working a full time job in the course of providing care. However, a total of 53% of the individuals questioned were not working at all.
The Solution To Stress and Burnout
As you can see, caregiving is an expensive endeavor. Not only does it take time, patience and high levels of endurance, it also takes money. Even if you are not providing any level of financial support to your loved one, you must take time out of your schedule to assist them – which negatively impacts the amount of money that you make to handle your own financial obligations. If you are going to be a caregiver, you must be able to tend to the care of your loved one and maintain the ability to care for yourself. The solution is to find a job or business opportunity that will permit you to do both. Most individuals that find a legitimate work at home job find that they experience fewer bouts of stress and burn out because they have a flexible schedule and are able to make the money that they need to meet their financial responsibilities and assist their loved one financially, too.
Your Home Business
Many individuals are scared to create a home business that will permit them to properly care for their loved ones and excel financially. However, those that have endured through the initial stages of taking this step have discovered that it is well worth the time to delve into the endeavor. The thought of creating a home business may be daunting, but it is a very realistic solution to the stress and burn out that you experience as a caregiver. You must simply evaluate the life skills that you have obtained and the professional skills that you have in order to determine how to transfer them into a business that will allow you to create a lucrative income. You must then develop goals for yourself and acquire the training that is necessary to make the home business become a reality. If you are experiencing stress, if you feel alone and that you have lost direction and you are suffering as a result of caregiver stress and burnout, there is hope. By starting the task of creating a home business today, you have the ability to enjoy many tomorrows with your loved one without the stress and burnout of your new responsibilities.
Melanie Gray RN MSN