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Life to be LivedChallenges and choices for patients and carers in life-threatening illnesses$
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Catherine Proot and Michael Yorke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199685011

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685011.001.0001

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Some personal consequences for the carer

Some personal consequences for the carer

(p.65) Chapter 8 Some personal consequences for the carer
Life to be Lived

Catherine Proot

Michael Yorke

Oxford University Press

As carers become fatigued, all sorts of things can so easily go wrong, including the carer becoming ill themselves. We argue that the professional should watch over the lay carer’s well-being as well as over the patient’s needs. The grind can affect the whole household. From this can grow a sense of guilt over recognised negative feelings, about a lack of confidence and about the constrictions of the home and life-style. The capacity to forgive can be strained in the struggle to keep going. Among other issues considered are the sense of loss of freedom, friends, personal time and the joys of the past. A major loss may be the mental change in the patient which brings new and unexpected stresses to the relationship. There are also positive consequences—more time together, rediscovered common interests, and a warming and deepening affection. The combination of family devotion and the skills of the professional can lead to a renewing and enriching situation.

Keywords:   carer fatigue, self-neglect, guilt, compassion fatigue, forgiveness, rewards, constrictions of home and life-style, loss, life change

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