Caregiver’s Meeting – ‘Preventing Caregiver burnout’ on 14 July, 2012

Posted by: admin 0 Post Date: October 9, 2018

  • The chief speaker was Ms Farzana Mulla and it was attended by 20 caregivers including volunteers and staff. It started with a brief self introduction by all people present in the meeting.
  • Ms Farzana’s emphasis was on caregiver’s burnout (rather than on the information about Dementia)
  • There was an open talk among Ms Farzana and caregivers in which the caregivers shared their personal experiences in dealing with their family members suffering from dementia.
  • Many caregivers like Mr. Radhakrishnan and Mrs. Prabhakrishnan opened up and spoke about their personal experiences and burnouts.
  • It was a gathering where caregivers acknowledged their positions and responsibilities as dementia caregivers and at the same time realized and talked about their vulnerabilities, considerations for their own self and how difficult their journey is as a care giver.
  • Ms Farzana made the caregivers speak out about all the built in emotions , fears ,feelings they couldn’t share or stopped thinking about before like family isolation, relatives ill opinions, retirement plans of spouses gone downhill, depression, loss of self time and identity, loss of hobbies and interest,grief, guilt, moral obligations, abandonment, anger, frustration etc.,
  • Ms Farzana gave self help handouts to the caregivers which had important points like
    • Stress symptoms
    • Emotional and physical strain of care giving
    • How to prevent or relieve stress
  • Ms.Farzana emphasized that care giving is putting too much stress on a person if he/she has any of the following symptoms:
    • Feeling overwhelmed
    • Sleeping too much or too little
    • Gaining or losing a lot of weight
    • Feeling tired most of the time
    • Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
    • Becoming easily irritated or angered
    • Feeling constantly worried
    • Often feeling sad
    • Frequent headaches, bodily pains or other physical problems
    • Misuse of alcohol , including prescription drugs
  • She empathized with the care givers and talked about how strain of care giving takes many forms like for instance caregiver may feel
    • Frustrated and angry taking care of someone with dementia who often wanders away or becomes easily upset.
    • Guilty because you think that you should be able to provide better care, despite all the other things that you have to do
    • Lonely because all the time you spend care giving has hurt your social life.
    • Exhausted when you go to bed at night.
  • Although care giving can be challenging, she says it is important to note that it can also have its rewards. Some carers do report that:
    • They appreciate life more as a result of their care giving experience.
    • Care giving has made them feel good about themselves.
    • Three simple and most efficient ways to cope stress talked in this meeting were
      • Humor: Can I see the funny side of things and laugh?
      • Letting go.
      • Being present in the here and now.
  • The meeting ended on the group discussion and conclusion that there should be frequent caregiver support meetings like this
  • ARDSI decided to start Caregivers Support group at day care where the caregivers will have their own time to develop their own hobbies and their own activities to do, or even go out and do their chores while the patients are in day care.

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