Original Article:

Unpaid family and friends who assist older people with disabilities by coordinating doctor appointments and managing medications are significantly more likely to experience emotional, physical, and financial difficulties than caregivers who don’t provide this type of support, the research finds.

Such caregivers are also three times more likely to be less productive at work due to distraction and/or fatigue, a phenomenon called “presenteeism,” as well as outright absenteeism. Researchers say this shows that there is a significant – and often unrecognized – cost borne by employers.

Aging Life Care Professionals have put together several resources for family caregivers to help avoid these pitfalls of caregiving identified in this study.

Caregiving is difficult and exhausting work. If you don’t take time to set limits on what you can do and when, and create balance in your life, you may begin to suffer from a condition called “burnout.” When it comes to caring for an aging loved one, some people cope better than others. But everyone’s flame is at risk for flickering out if they aren’t careful.

If you feel overwhelmed and unable to take another step forward you may be experiencing burnout. Take this quiz to find out if your flame is about to fizzle.

Are You Burned Out From Caregiving?

True, this describes my situation most of the time.False, this isn’t the case in my situation.

1. I feel emotionally drained because of my caregiving duties.

2. I’ve developed a negative attitude.

3. I feel stressed out more often than not.

4. I have more medical problems as a result of being a caregiver.

5. I feel more depressed and/or anxious than before I became a caregiver.

6. I’m not successful as a caregiver.

7. I have trouble sleeping at night.

8. I feel all alone—no one helps me.

9. I have trouble making time for myself and taking a break.

10. I feel trapped in my caregiver role.

11. I feel hopeless and as if there is no help for my situation.

12. I’ve become angry & frustrated and sometimes take my anger & frustration out on the person I care for.

The more items you answered “TRUE” to in the Burnout Quiz, the higher the likelihood that you are experiencing burnout! Even if you responded “TRUE” to just one question, you will benefit from additional help in your care-taking responsibilities.

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