Many families have a patient who has chronic disabilities or an elder who needs some
level of care and support. Family caregivers are thus important because they can deal with
daily activities and offer physical and emotional support for the patient or the elderly, and help
them get through the difficult time more easily. Although caregiving is a meaningful job, it is
out of question a stressful one, too.
Family caregivers are often called “secondary patients” because their health and safety
are at risk. Many caregivers are under overwhelming stress of caregiving, so they may easily
ignore their own health care needs, leading to signs of caregiver burnout, such as feeling
constantly exhausted and resentful, becoming short-tempered, having difficulty in sleeping,
and losing interest in their work. Some caregivers may even be in a crisis situation that puts
them at risk of hurting the one they care for. It is thus important for caregivers to take good
care of themselves.
Researchers have provided many tips for family caregivers to alleviate their stress and
empower themselves. For example, caregivers should constantly acknowledge their efforts and
remind themselves of the meaningful things they have done. Although they may not be perfect
caregivers, their support and efforts do matter greatly for the one they care for. In addition, it is
important for caregivers to reward and pamper themselves. They can give themselves a short
break every day, and use the time to do something nice simply for themselves, such as
watching a movie, baking some dessert, or enjoying some alone time. When caregivers feel
burnt out, they can also talk to a family member or friend who can listen to them and
acknowledge their efforts in caregiving. Everyone needs a listening ear, so do family
caregivers. Moreover, they should see a doctor to seek medical assistance when necessary.
With support from family, friends or doctors, caregivers will be more capable of dealing with
their own feelings and regaining their energy and optimism.
In conclusion, family caregiving is a rewarding and meaningful job, but it can also
become difficult and exhausting. It is important for caregivers to understand their own health
care needs and deal with them properly because their love and support for themselves can also
benefit the one they care for.
【題組】75. The word “pamper” in the 3rd paragraph is closest in meaning to: