If you’re caring for an older loved one, you know how easy it is to prioritize their well-being over your own. However, over time this tendency can lead to caregiver burnout, characterized by symptoms like chronic stress, depression, trouble sleeping and worsened physical health. 

If you think you’re facing caregiver burnout, we can help. The below guide will walk you through the symptoms of caregiver burnout, ways to recover and where you can get additional support. 

What Is Caregiver Burnout?

Caregiver burnout, also known as caregiver fatigue, is characterized by mental, emotional and physical exhaustion that arises when caring for someone else. The condition can affect caregivers in any role, whether providing hands-on, occasional or long-distance care. Caregiver burnout occurs when the caregiver becomes overwhelmed and lacks the necessary physical, mental, emotional and financial support to effectively care for their loved one.

Continue Reading: Find more information about caregiver burnout in our Answers Center.

What Are Common Signs of Caregiver Burnout?

Caregivers often become accustomed to the routine stresses of taking care of their loved one. You may not notice the warning signs of caregiver fatigue until it negatively impacts your health and ability to provide care.

If you notice the below symptoms of caregiver burnout in yourself, it’s time to take action to relieve some of your stress. 

  • A newly short fuse 
  • More frequent emotional outbursts
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Increased physical ailments such as body pain
  • Social isolation 

How To Recover from Caregiver Burnout

Some steps you can take to recover from caregiver burnout include:

1. Seek professional guidance and support groups

2. Ask family and friends for help

3. Find out if your employer offers any benefits or accommodations for caregivers, such as personal leave, flex scheduling or mental health resources

4. Listen to your body and give yourself rest when needed

5. Connect with your loved one’s doctor and ask them for advice on managing your loved one’s needs

Continue Reading: Learn more about how to recover from caregiver burnout in our Answers Center.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Caregiver Burnout?

Recovering from caregiver burnout has no fixed timeline, and the duration depends on the severity of the condition. Some caregivers can bounce back in just a few days with self-care strategies like getting enough rest and seeking support from loved ones. However, for some, the road to recovery can take much longer, especially if burnout has led to chronic physical or mental health challenges. 

Friends and family members must understand that recovery timelines differ, and they may need to step in to support the caregiver until they can resume their responsibilities.

How to Avoid Caregiver Burnout

You can prevent caregiver burnout by taking some practical steps. 

  • Recognize your limits and establish boundaries. 
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help from family, friends, or support groups to share the caregiving responsibilities. 
  • Set aside time for breaks and activities you enjoy. 
  • Exercise regularly to maintain good physical health, relieve stress and help you sleep. 
  • Seek emotional support through a professional counselor or therapist.

Continue Reading: Learn more about how to avoid caregiver burnout in our Answers Center.

Resources for Managing Caregiver Stress

The following resources may help you manage your caregiving responsibilities and stress. Below, you’ll find caregiver support groups and online forums, ample online resources, and service provider directories.


How It Helps

This nonprofit offers services for caregivers, including care planning, wellness programs, online resources, and more.

This tool helps caregivers find respite services in their local area to match their specific needs. 

This is a community for caregivers, their families, and care-industry professionals to connect and share their experiences. 

This is a space for women and men who are balancing the responsibility of caring for an aging parent with their home, career, and life.

The Family Caregiver Toolbox from CAN provides educational resources in 25 categories to help caregivers manage specific challenges, including caregiver depression, bereavement, stroke care, and more. Resources include articles, several video series, as well as service and provider directories.