Taking care of the caregiver: avoiding caregiver burnout

By Wendy Johnstone
May 11, 2012

 

One of the main reasons family members take on the role of caregiver is because they love their aging loved ones and they want to help them with a better life and prolonged independence.

Sometimes though, the rewards of caregiving are outweighed by the stress, physical and emotional work, which invariably leads to burnout.

Some family caregivers become so wrapped up in their caregiving duties they forget about themselves. Many family members fail to realize how mentally and physically exhausting caregiving can be.

Feeling “burned out” can be dangerous to both you and your loved one.

To find out if you’re at risk of caregiver burnout, take this simple test from Elderwise.ca.

Now calculate your score: the higher your score, the greater your risk of burnout. If many of your responses are in the “often” or “daily” column, it’s safe to say that’s a red flag!

The best way to avoid caregiver burnout is to take action. Karen Henderson from the Long Term Care Network offers some great tips:

Wendy Johnstone is a gerontologist and is the founder of Keystone Eldercare Planning. Her column runs in the Comox Valley Record every second Friday.

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– Mike G., Nanaimo, BC

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