In our last post about caregiver burnout, we cautioned caregivers about caregiver burnout and how they can avoid this. This post is not for those caregivers but is instead directed at the family members of family caregivers. In many families, one of person is responsible for the majority of the caregiving (either because of their skill or their proximity to the client), and that can put the caregiver at risk of burnout. It is important that the rest of the family know the signs and symptoms of burnout so they can intervene on their loved one’s behalf.

Symptoms and Signs of Caregiver Burnout

It is important to keep in mind that caregiver burnout causes overwhelming fatigue, so the signs you will have to look for are all indications of this fatigue. According to, here are just a few of the signs of caregiver burnout:

  1. Trouble sleeping
  2. Changing eating habits, more fast food can especially be a sign of overwhelming fatigue.
  3. Depression’
  4. Withdrawal from friends and family
  5. Anxiety
  6. Increased irritability
  7. Mood swings
  8. Self-medication through drugs or alcohol
  9. Suicidal ideation or attempts
  10. Health problems
  11. Neglected responsibilities outside of caregiving

These are just some of the signs, you can read more here and here. As you can see from this list, many of the signs of caregiver burnout are sudden changes in the caregiver’s condition, such as new sleep or health problems, or behavior, like irritability and significant mood swings. It is just as important to check in on the caregiver as it is to check in on other person who needs caregiving. Burnout can be dangerous and even deadly, as far too often caregivers die after putting all their energy into caring for their loved one.

What Can You do to Help?

First, read this post for our suggestions on how to combat caregiver burnout. Secondly, you should know that the nature of caregiver burnout plus caring for a loved one means the caregiver may not be able to help themselves. You will probably have to take initiative to help them. So, you can recommend they spend more time with friends and family, or if you live in a different area than them, reach out to their friends about getting the caregiver involved in activities again. You should look into a caregiving agency, either for regular or respite care. Remind the caregiver that them needing a few hours a few times a week to run errands or see friends or go to work does not make them a bad caregiver. See if you can find caregiver support groups and encourage the caregiver to attend one.

I hope this gives you some idea of what to look out for in your loved one. This is truly about making sure the caregiver and their loved one is safe and healthy.