Family caregivers are so many times in a complete state of caregiver burnout. From a policy perspective, the federal government and the long-term care system in the United State cannot afford to neglect the burnout and strain of millions of Americans caregivers any longer.
Despite the rewards caregivers get from giving care we know from years of research that being a family caregiver results brutal losses. These degradations and deficits include role conflict and overload from the never-ending tasks demanded of a caregiver. Left in a permanent state of worry and anxiety much of the time, caregivers are working in a deteriorating and unpredictable situation.
Caregivers can feel entrapped by there the restrictions on their own life. They are often beset by fiscal worries because they are not paid except in some states, like California under Medicaid. Yet the care-giving situation explodes in cost through medical bills, medical equipment and informal care that must be brought in, if the family can afford it.
Family caregivers face a quagmire of legal problems including untangling wills, trusts, and inheritance issues which generally complicate care both emotional and physically. Many times these family caregivers compound their fiscal woes by having to quit their job, running the risk of being hired again, if they can eventually return to work. The caregivers own physical and mental health is often ravaged. They have to do medical tasks that years ago family caregivers never had to do. If they were paid by an agency, this would be a workman’s compensation nightmare for the company, yet these family caregiver’s are never even paid. So it is time that geriatric care managers and other professionals in aging started to respond to this family caregiver nightmare and use a caregiver assessment every time they assess an older client tended by a family caregiver.