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Ask questions: Assessing a caregiver's burnout
Paying attention to a myriad of small signs in both the caregiver’s and the patient’s behavior can alert the home health nurse to a need for intervention to prevent caregiver burnout, says Nancy Stallings, MAM, program manager for caregiver support for Salt Lake County Aging Services in Salt Lake City. Stallings presents the following 10 questions as a good way to assess caregiver burnout or a sense of being overwhelmed:1
All of these questions address triggers that can lead to caregiver burnout, says Stallings. If home health personnel notice that caregivers are neglecting their own needs, using alcohol, being abused by the patient, or experiencing financial hardships, then it is imperative that other support systems such as social services, community organizations, or other family members be called upon to help, she says.
1. Lustbader W, Hooyman NR. Taking Care of Aging Family Members: A Practical Guide. 1st ed. New York City: Free Press; 1994.