There are many rewards but also many responsibilities that come with palliative caregiving. And while many caregivers say that those rewards make the effort worth it, there is no denying that the responsibilities caregivers shoulder on a daily basis can be stressful. Studies show that between 40-70% of caregivers suffer significant levels of stress and about half of significantly stressed caregivers meet the criteria for major depression.
Recognizing and celebrating those rewards and learning to acknowledge when stress levels are too high are essential for the physical and mental well-being of all caregivers, both familial and professional.
Michael Marschke, MD, palliative care physician at NorthShore, shares his recommendations on how caregivers can best cope with and manage stress:
Remember that in order to provide quality care to a family member or a client you have to care for yourself too. Once you do, the rewards of caregiving will be that much richer.
Have you ever cared for an elderly or disabled family member? Are you currently employed as a palliative caregiver? If so, how did you cope with stress?