Burn Out: For the Elderly Caregiver

Being an elderly caregiver can be one of the most rewarding jobs, but working in healthcare is also one of the hardest, most demanding and challenging industries to work in. While it is as rewarding as it is challenging, healthcare workers, especially elderly caregivers, are some of those at the highest risk for burn out.


Burn out is an overwhelming constant state of exhaustion affecting one physically, mentally and emotionally. It is a result of excessive and prolonged stress whether leaving you emotionally drained and unable to keep up with life’s demands or physically and mentally drained prohibiting you from doing the things that bring you joy and causing your patience level to drastically decrease . Being an elderly caregiver, whether professionally or for a loved one, increases the usual stressors of life and since these are long term commitments the effects can snowball over time.


As elderly caregivers we often ignore small warning signs in ourselves as we are constantly on the lookout for changes in those we are caring for. It is equally important to know what to look for in yourself;


  1. Chronic fatigue; constantly feeling rundown; difficulty sleeping; insomnia
  2. Chronic headaches; new or worsening migraines
  3. Muscle pain and stiffness
  4. Decreased energy; lack of motivation or interest in things
  5. Seeming to catch every cold/flu, virus going around; weakened immune system


1. Anxiety; depression; low self-esteem

2. Trouble relaxing; difficulty concentrating

3. Increasingly impatient; irritable

4. Neglecting your own needs

5. Feeling hopeless/helpless; not caring anymore

While being an elderly caregiver will never be a stress-free occupation, there are some precautions you can take to help avoid burn out and take care of yourself!


Feeling powerless is the top contributor to elderly caregivers’ burn out and while it can feel as though you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders there are things to do that can give you hope and happiness while reminding you why you chose to be an elderly caregiver in the first place.

  1. Maintaining a good sleep routine
  2. Make self-care a priority
  3. Learn positive coping strategies
  4. Interacting with family and friends
  5. Talk to your supervisor or a professional



Physical consequences of burn out can become very dangerous. Those suffering from burn out are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disorders, stroke, diabetes, sleep disorders and much more.

Mental consequences can be equally as taxing increasing your risk for depression, anxiety and overall decreasing your ability to experience joy and pleasure from your life.


As an elderly caregiver experiencing burn out you can unintentionally place your clients in danger as tasks become increasingly overwhelming, mistakes will begin to happen perhaps more frequently and your patience will decrease making things more challenging and causing more obvious irritation with your clients.



The City of Ottawa has many resources for the elderly caregiver whether professional or family caregivers:

https://ottawa.ca/en/family-and-social-servic es/older-adults/caregiver-support#:~:text=F or%20further%20information%20on%20trai ning,Website(link%20is%20external).

Lotsa Helping Hands is an online resource where you can add your Ottawa based family or elderly caregiver team to one platform that allows you to schedule appointments, reminders and much more!

https://nac.lotsahelpinghands.com/eldercare /home/

Ottawa Public Health is a wealth of knowledge for mental health resources for everyone including elderly caregivers:

https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public- health-topics/mental-health-caregiver-guide. aspx

The Royal Ottawa is the premiere organization for your emotional well-being overall:


The Ontario Caregiver is a great resource, while it does not only apply to the Ottawa region it has many platforms include a Helpline:



Our Google Reviews

Highly recommend Life At Home! Quick to reply and kind staff. We had the chance to ask questions during our in-home assessment and they took the time to really understand what we needed for my Father and involved us in every step. We have referred a few friends and everyone raves about their staff and services. We also really loved having access to their Family Portal, which other companies did not provide.

Serge Savard Dec 12, 2023

My mom received around the clock care from Life At Home for a little over a year before she passed away. She had memory issues (dementia) that progressed very fast but it was her wish after my father's passing to remain in their condo. Living 5 hours away, it was hard to know if she was truly being taken care of by the previous agency we used. Life At Home's consultation process was a breeze, after the assessment I knew she would be in great hands. The caregivers chosen for my mom were wonderful. I received a report after every visit and the office staff were always pleasant to chat with. Thank you again, I am truly grateful.

Kylan L Nov 11, 2023

As a result of diagnoses of Myasthenia Gravis and Parkinson’s disorders, My wife, Charlotte, has not been able to get around without the use of wheelchair for well over a year. She requires assistance for transfers from bed to a reclining chair in our living room and for showers or to attend appointments or personal outings such as to visit family. We have been receiving Personal Support Worker (PSW) services from Life at Home since November 2022. We have also received services from other providers. We have been entirely satisfied by the exceptional services provided by Life at Home. Dependability We have found Life at Home to always be totally dependable. On numerous occasions, we have needed a PSW on… Read more

Guy Goulard Oct 10, 2023

My mother received overnight care from the wonderful staff at Life at Home from mid February- mid September, 2023. The agency provided consistency in workers, shared information with their staff about my mother, and were always very quick to respond to me. I would highly recommend them. Julie Kanter

Julie Kanter Oct 10, 2023

I have been a member of the Life At Home team for almost a year now and have had nothing but a positive experience. When I first started working for LAH in March of last year, I was a bit nervous as this was the first job that I would have in this field. Thankfully the staff at LAH really helped me and guided me through the process. They introduced me to new clients and they provided a clear and precise Care Plan for each client, outlining what their diagnosis are and what we are there to help them with.The staff at Life At Home create a stress free and easygoing environment for us employees. They are quick to respond… Read more

Victoria Miller Oct 10, 2023

The Life At Home team cares very much for their clients & work really hard to ensure all expectations are met. These caregivers are trustworthy, kind, compassionate & a pleasure to interact with. I can recommend Life At Home without hesitation.

Anne Miller Sep 9, 2023

I am really grateful that I got to work with Life at Home. Caroline and Ashley were really nice and they will make sure that you are comfortable with the clients you’re working with.

Patricia DT Aug 8, 2023

You cannot find more compassionate people then this company. I would not hesitate at all to use this company again.

janet puddicombe Aug 8, 2023

Life at home provides excellent service. I strongly recommend to use their services . I get to stay in my house while getting the help I need.

My S Aug 8, 2023

Very well organized and managed buisness,provides great care and support, as well as very friendly staff that make the customers feel more comfortable in their own home.

Lucas Savard Aug 8, 2023

The compassionate care that was provided for my grandfather through life at home was a god send. They were reliable, knowledgeable and caring. We had tried other larger companies but the one on one care and attention shown all around was unmatched. I highly recommend them.

David Ernest Aug 8, 2023

Breathe of fresh air! Life at Home provides quality home care services for seniors that values their quality of life over everything. Their experienced staff make you feel like family, even on the administrative and coordination side of it, they keep it friendly and personable! It’s always a pleasant experience when dealing with them and they make every client feel like they matter and are priority #1!

Samantha Crete Aug 8, 2023

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