How do you measure caregiver burden? It’s a simple equation. You start with a functional assessment of the care receiver. The care manager then should do a functional assessment of the caregiver imbedded in the caregiver assessment. This will begin to measure the caregiver’s burden. Next you should look at the caregiver’s tasks through the care plan you did in the functional assessment and the care receiver. Quite simply, if the caregiver ‘s task is to lift and turn the care receiver- her husband and she is in her early 80’s and cannot do this, their burden is so heavy they cannot do the job. Then, you see, the care receivers needs exceed the caregiver’s ability to do the task. You should probably hire a private care provider, get another family member or consider placement.
Another example is the care receiver’s has Alzheimer’s and one of the symptoms is she is walking out and getting lost. The family care provider, the daughter, has repeatedly walked, driven and searched frantically to track her down. The distraught daughter is now burning out from the job. She calls the care manager who does a caregiver assessment. The care manager might suggest tracking devices to lighten the burden like Project Lifesaver, Mind ME, and GPS Shoe that will make it easy to track the Alzheimer’s patient, to lighten the caregiver’s burden
The University of Utah Gerontology Department has an excellent Caregiver Burden Scale that can be used to measure whether the burden of care exceeds the caregivers ability to give it.