What is caregiver burnout?
When caregiving leaves a person completely exhausted physically, emotionally and mentally, in psychological parlance such a condition is called caregiver burnout.
When caregiving takes a toll on the familial caregiver
When a sick relative is completely dependent on a family member for Activities of Daily Living, it may be very hard on the familial caregiver. This is especially true if he or she has not had special training in caregiving. In most cases, familial caregivers have other responsibilities like looking after the family and a full-time job. For those who are employed, it could mean missing work or in extreme cases quitting the job to focus on caregiving. Any leisure time to pursue a hobby or watch a movie is lost. Communication with friends lessens. Psychologists say that you can be an effective caregiver if you care for yourself.
In the words of a primary caregiver
When a professional caregiver stepped in
Chandamma Kanhar is a 28-year-old trained, skilled caregiver from Life Circle, a home nursing care provider. She looks after Shanti Jha from 7 am to 7 pm. After Chandamma stepped in, Ashutosh is able to focus on his job and run errands without having to worry like before about his mother. Chandamma assists Shanti with toileting, feeds her, prepares tea for her, gives her medicines on time, and takes her for strolls oin her wheelchair. Now and then, she lifts and moves her from the bed, wheelchair and toilet seat. When Chandamma goes on leave occasionally, the combined efforts of two caregivers working in her place are not able to match her skill, compassion and sense of responsibility.
What the caregiver has to say
Chandamma who is from Odisha came to Hyderabad with her husband in pursuit of a good job. With immense pride she says, ”Life Circle mein 2 saal ho gaya. Maine to kabhi socha nahi tha ki itne kum padhai mein aisa job mil jayega. Main kabhi hamare gao se door hi nahi gayi thi. Itna bada city ko ake kam kar paongi maine kabhi socha nahi tha. Is liye mein Life Circle ko dhanyawad dena chahati hoon.” (It has been 2 years since I’m working in Life Circle. I had never imagined that in spite of being less qualified, I’d be able to pursue such a job. I had never travelled far from my village. That I could come and get a good job in a big city was beyond my imagination. For this, I am grateful to Life Circle.)
Seeking a professional caregiver
The quality of life among family caregivers can be improved by reducing their burden and burnout. Availing services of a professional caregiver can help in preventing burnout. A bonus is the difference the money you spend is able to make to the life of a needy person by allowing her to choose a safe and dignified vocation – that of a geriatric caregiver.