Reply To: How can you help your caregiver from burning out?

Joyce Hoffman

Caregiver burnout comes about for a variety of reasons, but the most outstanding one in my situation was poor communication between the survivor and the caregiver. A caregiver has to be patient with a survivor, especially when the survivor has aphasia or can’t speak at all, as in my case for 5 weeks when I had to use the gruesome communication board. Even with the board, the caregiver got into a frenzy about what I needed even though I pointed to what I needed, even with pictures of a glass of water or a toilet! Once I started speaking, at first with only limited vocabulary, I found it difficult, in pure aphasic fashion, to think of the right work. And often the caregiver finished the sentence for me, also contributing to burnout because I wanted to finish the sentence myself. Hence, frustration came to the forefront every time because I let her know in an angry fashion. Looking back, it was mostly my fault for the burnout even though I couldn’t stop it from happening.