What is a family caregiver? Why are they in burn out?

Sad man wishing to help get better

We hear more and more often talk burn out family caregivers. Even so, you may not know what a burn out is or even what a family caregiver is. Yet, without knowing it, you may be concerned!

What is a family caregiver?

The family caregiver is the person who helps a member of his family with a loss of autonomy. It can be a child born with a disability, a spouse who has an arm fracture or a parent who is aging and loses autonomy.

To be considered a family caregiver, you do not have to give up your job to help the other. There is also no need to wash each other. Just help him. It might be shopping, making appointments, driving to activities or care …

There is 11 million family carers in France. There is a good chance that you will be part of it.

What is a burn out of caregivers?

We started hearing about burn out in the professional context. You may know someone who has been on sick leave following a burn out.

People with burn-outs are people who have been overworked and have accumulated a lot of stress in them. They passed theactivity before their well-being and one day they ended up to crack psychologically but also physically.

Family carers are increasingly involved with their loved ones over the years. In the end, 68% of caregivers report taking care of their loved ones every day for 4 years. On average, caregivers spend 38 hours a week on their loved ones. Given the number of hours devoted to this task, we can better understand why family exhaustion can be compared to burnout syndrome.

A person in burn out is exhausted physically and psychologically. She feels a great deal of fatigue, chronic stress, a feeling of failure and a weariness with the task that led to burnout. Some caregivers thus become abusive to their loved ones with whom they were so invested! They help them mechanically, detaching themselves from all emotion. They then do the tasks without speaking by rushing and therefore being less attentive to the needs of their loved one. Worse, they can get upset and attack their loved one verbally or physically.

To all this, are added the risks for their own health. Visions disturbed, gastric disorders, hypertension, heart problems …

How to be a family caregiver without risking burnout?

1- Realize that to help the other, you have to be fit!

You want to help your loved one to face his loss of autonomy. This may be by attachment to your loved one, for financial reasons, for moral values ​​… This is very understandable.

But who will take care of your loved one when your body drops you and you need to stay in bed or be hospitalized?

realize that to help the other, you have to help yourself. That your priority is even to take care of yourself. And for that, do not neglect your needs, your hobbies. Every day, do one thing for yourself. What will it be today?

2- Find out about alternatives.

Many people exhaust themselves with their loved ones because they did not know that a caregiver could come home to do certain tasks. Some care is reimbursed by Social Security. This is the case of the toilet for example.

More and more structures or associations are being created to accompany people losing their autonomye and reduce the workload of caregivers.

Do not hesitate to go hunting for information! You may discover that your loved one has the right to certain financial aid to finance professional help, that certain acts of assistance to autonomy are reimbursed by social security, that there are objects to facilitate the daily life of your loved one and so yours ….

3- Delegate!

You are probably not alone around your loved one, so divide the tasks! One person can take care of the races, the other administrative papers, another one of the medical appointments … In addition, it will allow the person whom you accompany to feel surrounded and loved by all his relatives. Everybody wins !
Also remember to involve health professionals or companies. Many acts can be supported by social security or by financial assistance awarded to your loved one, inquire! The time gained from not doing the toilet or preparing meals for your loved one will allow you to finally be at home and sit at your own table around a good meal!

Stop being afraid that others are doing worse than you. Also stop listening to your loved one when he tells you that he prefers you to do things yourself rather than involve a stranger. You must listen to your body first!

So use one of these methods to convince your loved one to let a professional come in and take care of him, and finally take some time for you!

4- Learn to say no!

Your loved one is sick, but that does not mean you can not tell him no. If he asks you to return to the store to look for a forgotten product, you can tell him that he will be able to do without it.

If he asks you to spend your evenings at home rather than being at home with your children, you can say no.

If he asks you to do housework more often than you really need, you can also tell him no.

You do not know how to say no? Do you feel embarrassed at the idea of ​​denying him something? Learn to say no without having a bad conscience thanks to the tips in this article.

Whether you are a family caregiver or not, the important thing is always to take care of yourself!

These tips are ultimately valid for all of us. For professionals who do not know how to cut with their work. For women who forget who they are to be just moms. For those lovers who bring the happiness of others before theirs and who do not end up recognizing themselves!

All, we need one day or another to refocus on ourselves and our needs. We need to let go with an activity, take a break, get help … Family caregivers just need to be aware of it and be successful in accepting it. At the risk of passing from the role of the family caregiver to the role of patient!

What do you think?

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