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Caregiver Burnout

Published by Chapster on 2005/3/18 (11728 reads)
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Caregiver Burnout

If you are a caregiver and reading this page right now, you are probably only partially reading this at all! Vying for space on your brain's "hard drive" are thoughts of a myriad of other responsibilities and chores waiting for you as soon as you exit the Internet. Furthermore, if you have taken the time to read anything else on caregiver "burnout," you may be feeling even more stress with information overload, tips on how you really "should" be taking better care of yourself or your family, or how you can be a better caregiver.

The reality is, as you well know, caregiving is hard work- maybe the hardest work! After all, you are giving care to another person who is either ill, working through rehabilitation, an elderly parent needing help with activities of daily living, or maybe in transition to a nursing home. Odds are, you are giving this care in addition to outside employment, caring for your immediate family, or both! Issues with which you have little or no prior experience, such as treatment for pressure sores, giving someone a bedbath, or assisting with mobility problems, are now realities you are expected to handle. The demands on your body, mind, emotions and soul can easily seem overwhelming.

The redeeming aspect of caregiving, which may be hard to feel at times, is that you are helping another person cope with a very difficult time. The process of giving this care can be an immeasurably great learning experience for you and the one for whom you are caring. In retrospect, caring for my dad following his major stroke was literally the"best of times" and "the worst of times." Now, I know that I would not have traded a day of the care we shared. However, at that time, there were days I would have traded my last dime for someone who would stay with him so that I could take a brisk walk around the block!

Without adding to any potential "overload" we will try to address some specific caregiving concerns, options for dealing with those concerns, and possible ways for coping with difficult emotions. For those of you who are Professional Caregivers, we will offer some thoughts about the specific dynamics of burnout associated with healthcare workers, following the general burnout issues. Granted, we will only scratch the surface of caregiving stresses and concerns here, but we do hope to shed some light on otherwise fuzzy or dark areas related to burnout.
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Tags: caregiver   stress   burnout  

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