NARPO – The voice of retired police officers
NARPO – The voice of retired police officers

Wellbeing Guide from Police Mutual Carers Fatigue and Stress

Caring for someone has many positive and rewarding aspects to it and it can be the most loving thing you can do for someone else. It can however, also be challenging, leaving you feeling exhausted and in some cases can be extremely lonely and isolating.

If you find you are struggling it is important to ask for help and support.

The stress of caregiving can take a toll on your physical and mental health and your relationships, which could lead to burnout, a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. At this time, both you and the person you’re caring for suffer, which is why caring for yourself is a necessity. Looking after your own mental and physical wellbeing is just as important as making sure the person you are caring for takes their medication on time and goes to their medical appointments.

If you can recognise the signs of carer stress and burnout, you can take action to prevent things from getting worse and start to improve the situation for both you and the person you are caring for.

Common signs of carer stress:
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Irritability
• Tiredness
• Difficulty in sleeping
• Overreacting to minor things
• New or worsening physical health problems
• Trouble concentrating
• Feeling resentful
• Drinking, smoking or eating more
• Neglecting responsibilities
• Stopping or reducing your hobbies/interests

Common signs of carer burnout:
• You have less energy
• You catch a lot of colds
• You feel constantly exhausted
• You neglect your own needs, either because you are too busy or you just don’t care
• Your live revolves around care giving but gives you little satisfaction
• You find it hard to relax
• You are impatient and irritable with the person you are caring for
• You feel helpless and hopeless

Read more in the wellbeing article here