Family caregiver: the burden of addiction

Child with a disability, dependent spouse, elderly parent: 8 million French people take care of a loved one who has lost their autonomy at the expense of their own lives. Today is the 8th National Caregiver Day.

Profile of caregiver

According to a DREES study, half of family caregivers take care of an elderly parent or spouse.

Most of them non-professional, they assist them daily. Most of them are women, aged 59 on average.

This same study highlights the psychological impact that this burden has on caregivers, which 20% of them feel as such

. The majority of these caregivers are in a state of permanent physical fatigue and suffer from a feeling of loneliness. If the tasks in which

to assist the dependent loved one do not require specific physical effort, the regular routine of spending a few hours doing chores

which will then have to be done at home constitutes a drastic reduction in free time.

A third of these caregivers even went so far as to adjust their working lives or stop working. The other solution? Send the dependent person to a nursing home.

The rights of carers at work

Since the law of December 28, 2015, caregivers who have a job have more opportunities to take care of their loved one without risking their job:

  • Caregiver leave: the employee can suspend or reduce his working time for three months (renewable within the limit of one year throughout the career);
  • Family solidarity leave: the employee can suspend his professional activity for three months to support a loved one at the end of his life;
  • Availability or part-time for civil servants.

Note that these leaves are unpaid.

Helping loved ones otherwise

If in some cases the loneliness of the dependent loved one can echo their own isolation,

helping this person does not necessarily amount to a real relationship with. Other solutions are available to caregivers wishing to offload these tasks which should be reserved for professionals.

Family caregiver: the burden of addiction
Family caregiver: the burden of addiction
  • Home helpers: whether medical assistance, toilet, cleaning or meals, workers are there to relay family carers.
  • Responding perfectly to job offers by retirement homes or by home service agencies,
  • these professionals are assigned to dependent persons for a few hours a day or a week,
  • whether they are at home, in residence, home (housing individual with specialized services) or rest home.
  • Nursing homes: if dependency is too advanced for the person to remain alone, consider a stay either in nursing homes, or in psychiatric establishments in the event of mental disorders, or in clinics, for hospitalization .

Although the feeling of guilt can be strong when a relative is entrusted to this type of establishment, the treatment will be adapted to it and the life of the caregivers relieved.

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