Stress, fatigue, overwork: how do you prevent exhaustion as a caregiver?

If you are a caregiver, exhaustion can set in quickly if you don’t spare yourself. in their work Survival Guide for Caregivers, Quebecers Michelle Arcand and Lorraine Brisset wanted to know the reasons for this exhaustion. The psychologist and the social worker give keys to get out of a negative spiral and to provide the best possible support.

“burnt out”† These words often come from the mouth of health care providers. They are almost 11 million in France to provide daily help to a dependent, juggling between this support, a professional and personal life. In vain. crushed by “this burden”many are almost exhausted and lose energy.

How does this fatigue arise? And how to help relatives in a society where the traditional family model, on which the main support is based, has broken down?

Psychologist and social worker, respectively, Michelle Arcand and Lorraine Brisset wanted to know the reasons for this fatigue. They trace in the book Survival Guide for Caregivers, published on May 19 by Éditions de l’Homme, the process of exhaustion that these daily supporters face and gives keys to get out of this spiral. This is the third book they have dedicated to helping caregivers and professionals in the field.

stop accusing

According to them, several aspects lead to exhaustion: the context, the age and the dependence of the person. But not alone. The will to do well and to help his father, his sister or his dependent husband as much as possible weighs heavily.

“People talked to us a lot about guilt”explains Michelle Arcand. “This feeling takes a disproportionate place in the psyche of some caregivers and saps their energy considerably. We have seen many times that caregivers who feel guilty set the bar very high in hopes of finally getting their expectations back.”note the authors in the book.

It’s actually a sense of “over-responsibility” that the two professionals discover. One of the causes of this energy drop.

Create a “psychological contract”

When caring for a member of their entourage requires a lot of sacrifice, they also remind us that a sick or infirm elderly person does not have all the rights, under the guise of the situation. “There is a belief that you cannot say anything to a sick or elderly person”, says Michelle Arcand. †But we can still say that there are limits.”Lorraine Brisset in turn slips.

They propose to communicate and communicate the expectations of both parties. “For example, my dad loved cards and I hate it,” says Michelle Arcand. “If I had to welcome him home, I would have told him I wouldn’t play cards”she adds with a laugh.

Breaking the traditional family model

In today’s society, norms change slowly. When women (daughter, granddaughter, husband) are cited for regularly taking on this caregiver role, the two specialists repeatedly give examples that suggest a change. “For our radio appearance on France Bluethe two radio guards spontaneously spoke to us about their situation as caregivers”they say.

One of the major challenges is based on the alternatives to compensate for the disintegration of the traditional family model and the geographical distance of families in urban areas. “The number of children has decreased and there is increasing pressure on them”says Lorraine Brisset.

(ETX Daily Up)

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