September 26, 2016 |

5 Easy Ways You Can Spot Caregiver Burnout

You already know your caregivers are at risk of burnout.  Providing excellent care for seniors aging in place is no easy task.  Caregivers work hard and have to balance a number of stressful factors every day.  You also understand how important it is – both to your clients, your caregivers, and your business – that you watch for signs your staff may be overloaded.  But what exactly should you look for?  And how will you know one of your caregivers is under too much pressure?  Here are some practical strategies for identifying caregiver burnout so you can take action and keep your caregivers healthy, happy, and providing great care.

1. Know the signs

You don’t have a chance of heading off caregiver burnout if you don’t know what you’re looking for.  Educating yourself is the first step toward a healthy and happy staff, so here’s a list of common symptoms of caregiver burnout:

  • Fatigue
  • Short temper
  • Sleep troubles (either too much or too little)
  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • Physical pain
  • Appetite change
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Decreased energy
  • Forgetfulness

Remember that not every caregiver will exhibit all of these symptoms, and there may be other symptoms not listed.  If you begin to notice these signs in one of your caregivers, though, you should be prepared to step in and make necessary changes before burnout takes over.

2. Maintain open communication

Senior care is a partnership, and it requires communication among you, your caregivers, and your clients.  Fostering open communication encourages your caregivers to speak up when they’re feeling overloaded, and it also encourages seniors and their families to speak up if they notice their caregiver seems overburdened.  Your attitude toward concerned coworkers or clients can make all the difference.  If clients feel as though you’ll take their concerns as criticism, they’ll be less likely to speak up.  Concerns about caregiver burdens should be handled with a positive, problem-solving approach.  You’re part of an important team, and that means you all must work together.  Being willing to listen and offer solutions, rather than criticism can make all the difference.

3. Make caregiver assessment part of your routine

Evaluating how your caregivers are managing their workload and stress level shouldn’t be managed on an emergency, as-needed basis.  It’s too important to the health of your seniors and your business for assessment to be an afterthought.  Keep caregiver burdens under control by checking in with your employees and your clients on a regular basis.  Just as you constantly monitor the health of your seniors, you should keep an eye on your caregivers’ health as well.  If checking in with your caregivers becomes second nature, you’re far more likely to identify trouble before it affects senior care.

4. Track your staff’s performance over time

Oftentimes, caregiver burnout doesn’t announce itself with a dramatic change.  Rather, it’s a series of gradual changes that may only become apparent if you’ve taken the time to observe and record your caregivers’ performance long term.  In addition to monitoring your staff for the obvious signs of burnout, you may be able to head off problems before they grow worse if you’re able to pick up a decline in the quality of your staff’s work.  You’ll reap a double benefit from your regular assessment of your employees:  you’ll head off caregiver burnout, and you’ll also be able to reward great performance and correct performance that’s less than stellar.

5. Use SeniorGrowth’s caregiver burden assessment

While you have a lot on your plate in terms of managing your clients, your business, and your staff, SeniorGrowth has the tools to make your work easier and more efficient.  Rather than fretting about caregiver burden, simply ask your staff to complete our quick assessment, and you’ll know exactly how your staff is doing.  Using this tool regularly will let you identify problems before they grow, and it will reassure you that your seniors are getting the very best care from staff that isn’t overloaded.

You’ve worked hard to assemble a great staff and build up your client list.  Caregiver burnout poses a serious threat to all you’ve worked to create, and you owe it to yourself, your employees, and most importantly to the seniors in your care to take caregiver burden assessment seriously.  Don’t let burnout threaten the quality of care your business provides.  Know the risks of burnout, know the signs, and develop a plan for regularly assessing your staff.

You can prevent caregiver burnout, and SeniorGrowth can help!  For a limited time, we are offering a 14-day free trial. Put our caregiver burden assessment tool to work for your business by clicking the button below.