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Avoid the Dreaded Caregiver’s Burnout June 14, 2012

Posted by ijwoods in Blog+.
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“Family caregivers suffer from major depression much more frequently than the rest of the population. That’s a fact. When a family caregiver suffers from depression, there are two people at risk – the family caregiver and the family member or friend for whom she or he cares,”  From The Family Caregiver

Over the two years that K was ill, whenever I would speak to her brother-in-law he would invariably say to me,  “…and who takes care of the care givers?”  I could never understand what he was talking about at the time because not only did caregiving come naturally but it also hadn’t reached the point where it felt like it was affecting me.  Yet at one point it started it make a whole lot of sense.

You may have noticed that each day my Twitter tweets show up under “news and Twitter updates “ on this blog-site. The tweets come from sourcing and reading articles that I think you will find as interesting as I do about caregiving and end-of-life issues. What I’ve discovered is that a high percentage of articles coming out each day are about some form of “caregiver burnout”.  It’s a real problem; and growing.

Although I didn’t reach “burnout”, I can certainly see how it can occur.  In my case the caregiving was not that overwhelming early on. In those early days, after the cancer was discovered, K was able to bounce back from treatments. So, for example, although the first round of chemotherapy was very tough  she was functioning well again within a couple of months. Thankfully I work from home and had no problem providing transportation and hanging around the doctor’s office or making sure she was comfortable at home. After some time it seemed she had almost returned to normal except for a non-alarming loss of strength weight. So the caregiving at that time, although mentally strenuous, was not crushing. (more…)