What Happens to Loved Ones When Primary Caregivers Lose Steam?

By R. Bruce Dalglish

Updated June 25, 2018

Taking care of a loved one with a terminal illness is not easy. Most caregivers become so immersed in focusing all of their attention on their loved ones, they frequently neglect their own personal needs eventually leading to burnout.

Burnout can materialize physically, emotionally and psychologically. With limited time to take care of themselves, these wonderfully dedicated caregivers end up losing sleep, eating foods of convenience rather than healthy food choices, not exercising, and simply not taking a moment to rest.

When primary caregivers lose steam, it not only deteriorates their own well-being, but it eventually takes a toll on the very loved ones that they’re caring for, and perhaps their immediate families, households, and jobs.

With an estimated 44 million Americans who act as caregivers for adult family members, there is a growing need for outreach to compassionate hospice care professionals who can help alleviate the pressure of caring for a loved one diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Loved ones often feel as though they are overburdening their caregiver, and are uncertain of how to reach out for the appropriate help that they need to address their physical, emotional and spiritual needs during their end-of-life stage. With hospice care as an option, patients tend to feel that they have gained a network of loving and compassionate support, and no longer have to feel consumed with common guilt of feeling like a burden, and causing their caregivers to lose steam. Hospice care services come in various options that are customized to meet the individual needs of the patient, caregiver and family to help alleviate the tremendous responsibility and emotional exhaustion often linked with caregiver burnout.

About the Author
Bruce Dalglish has served as the Chairman and CEO of Alliance Hospice and All Caring Hospice since 2005. In this role, Bruce Dalglish oversees the development and strategic direction of both companies. From 2008 – 2013, Bruce Dalglish served on the Public Policy Committee of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).

Follow R. Bruce Dalglish on Twitter.

Disclaimer: Blogs by R. Bruce Dalglish provide educational information, not medical advice. Please consult with your medical providers when making end-of-life care decisions.