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Caregiver Burden

Overview
Individuals who care for survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) have unique concerns that outsiders often do not fully understand. In addition to the fact that you are caring for some one who has been injured and/or has a life-threatening disease, your loved one may have undergone significant changes in personality.

Unlike caregivers assisting persons without brain injury, your duties may involve caring for someone who is unable to appreciate the physical, emotional, and financial strain that your family faces. Although there are exceptions, many individuals with TBI pose unique caregiving challenges because of their inability to understand others and to control their behavior and emotions. The brain-injured person may be unaware of his or her own deficits and how they affect interpersonal relationships. It is common for caretakers of individuals with brain injury to feel taken for granted and that they are in a thankless job with no relief in sight.

Possible Indicators of Caregiver Burnout

Emotional
  • Irritation
  • Guilt Feelings
  • Depression
  • Isolation and Loneliness
  • Confusion
Mental
  • Memory loss
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Difficulty in keeping up with a conversation
  • Organizational problems
  • Inability to do more than one thing at a time
Physical
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Fatigue; increased need for sleep
  • Balance problems
  • Slurred or slow speech

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