Coping with caregiver stress

Elizabeth A. Perkins, Amy Hewitt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


Caregivers of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) often face many challenges in their caregiving role. Whether they are paid professional caregivers (i.e. formal), or family/friends (i.e. informal) their responsibilities can be complex and become overwhelming. This chapter describes challenges faced by caregivers generally, and specifically for those care for people with IDD, including physical, financial, social, as well as the psychological outcomes that have been reported. The authors also consider the changing focus of caregiving roles across the lifespan, and pay particular attention to the needs of family caregivers and direct support professionals. The authors then describe how stress can be experienced and what strategies can assist caregivers to cope with their roles. Specific recommendations for how both informal and formal caregivers can best be supported in their roles by health care professionals are offered. Approaches to adopt if burnout is suspected are also considered. As some caregivers cope admirably despite challenges and changes in the amount of support received, the chapter concludes with a discussion of beneficial aspects of caregiving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHealth Care for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Across the Lifespan
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783319180960
ISBN (Print)9783319180953
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


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