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Strategies for Avoiding Caregiver Burnout
Caregiving for an elderly loved one can be very rewarding, even when it is hard work and causes stress. No one can be fully prepared for all of the challenges of care giving, though. The task and responsibilities involved can be demanding. Caregiving presents physical and mental and, usually, financial challenges to the caregiver. Caregiving often involves sacrifices, restrictions, and competing responsibilities.
The many conflicts and responsibilities that come with caring for an older person can isolate a caregiver, compromise relationships, threaten job opportunities, lead to mounting anger, frustration, guilt, anxiety, depression, stress, a sense of helplessness and exhaustion that is sometimes called caregiver burnout.
Caregivers can do only so much as individuals, and the help they may receive from family members and friends may not be enough. The Merck Manual of Health & Aging offers the following strategies for avoiding caregiver burnout:
A Blessing for Caregivers
May you see with tender eyes
The wounds of those before you.
May you hear with well-tuned ears
The unspoken needs of those whose voices are muted.
May you hold with gentle hands
The bodies and the spirits of those you care for.
May the beauty of soul,
The strength of spirit,
The wholeness of being
Lead you, inspire you
And let you know your own
Beauty of soul,
Strength of spirit,
Wholeness of being.
May you know that,
As you care for others,
God cares for you, sees you,
Holds you tenderly.
This blessing comes from the book, Voices from the Journey, authored by Sr. Juliana Casey, IHM.
Learn more about the book at www.chausa.org/voices
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