Strategies for Overcoming Caregiver Burnout – Part 1

I would like for you to think about the economic value of the work you do as a caregiver. How much would it cost on a weekly basis if you were to pay someone just $20 an hour to replace you? How much would it cost on a monthly basis to put your loved one into a long-term care facility?

The economic impact of family caregiving is huge. Unfortunately, it is one of the most overlooked and under-appreciated jobs a person will ever do. Your care receiver may not be capable of understanding how much you are doing or sacrificing on his/her behalf. Family members and friends may resent the fact that you can’t always be there for them. Employers can be patient and understanding through a short-term crisis, but eventually they get cranky if your caregiving responsibilities interfere with your ability to do your job.

Please take a little time to do the following three things:

Take an objective look at all you do
Think about what it would it take to replace you
Place a value on your work as a caregiver

Next, I’d like for you to think about how much you would value what you do if the rolls were reversed and someone were doing for you what you are currently doing for your care receiver. How would you feel toward that person?

Staggering, isn’t it?

Even though caregiving is one of the most difficult jobs a person will ever do, it is one that will never bring you fame or fortune or even much appreciation. That’s why it’s up to you to recognize how vitally important you are to those who need you. Realizing and accepting your own value is the first step in overcoming caregiver burnout.

Come back tomorrow and we’ll talk about step 2 in overcoming caregiver burnout.