Caregiver Burden Inventory

 

The faculty at the University of Utah Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program offers a Caregiver Burden Inventory to help you gauge your stress level and need for respite services.

Family caregivers often go "beyond their abilities and circumstances trying to be the best possible caregivers. Unfortunately, many of these heroic caregivers are risking their own personal well-being and sometimes their family life in the process. Many caregivers are not fully aware of the short and longer term consequences of 'doing it all alone' because they are so overwhelmed with managing their daily tasks and responsibilities."     *from the booklet linked below

The 24 questions measure the impact of caregiving on the caregiver’s:

  • flexibility with time
  • physical health
  • social relationships
  • emotional well-being, and
  • life in general

Checklist

 

Caregiver Burden Inventory

For each item circle a number in the columns to the right that represent how often the statement describes your feelings.

Burden Scale

0  never
1  rarely
2  sometimes
3  quite frequently
4  nearly always

He/she needs my help to perform many daily tasks.

0
1
2
3
4
He/she is dependent on me.
0
1
2
3
4
I have to watch him/her constantly.
0
1
2
3
4

I have to help him/her with many basic functions.

0
1
2
3
4

I don’t have a minute’s break from his/her chores.

0
1
2
3
4
I feel that I am missing out on life.
0
1
2
3
4
I wish I could escape from this situation.
0
1
2
3
4
My social life has suffered.
0
1
2
3
4

I feel emotionally drained due to caring for him/her.

0
1
2
3
4

I expected that things would be different at this point in my life.

0
1
2
3
4
I’m not getting enough sleep.
0
1
2
3
4
My health has suffered.
0
1
2
3
4
Caregiving has made me physically sick.
0
1
2
3
4
I’m physically tired.
0
1
2
3
4

I don’t get along with other family members as well as I used to.

0
1
2
3
4

My caregiving efforts aren’t appreciated by others in my family.

0
1
2
3
4

I’ve had problems with my marriage (or other significant relationship).

0
1
2
3
4

I don’t get along as well as I used to with others.

0
1
2
3
4

I feel resentful of other relatives who could but do not help.

0
1
2
3
4

I feel embarrassed over his/her behavior.

0
1
2
3
4
I feel ashamed of him/her.
0
1
2
3
4
I resent him/her.
0
1
2
3
4

I feel uncomfortable when I have friends over.

0
1
2
3
4

I feel angry about my interactions with him/her.

0
1
2
3
4
  Total Score      

*made available with permission from the University of Utah Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program

 

If you have a total score above 36 when you add up the points, you are very likely to be at risk for burning out as a caregiver because you indicated a response of "sometimes" on half of the items. When scores are near or above 36 it is strongly suggested that you use respite and other services. Look at any item on the burden scale where your answer was scored as a 3 or 4 ("quite frequently" or "nearly always"). If you have a 3 or 4 as an answer, you need to give careful thought about why you scored so high on the question and see if you can find a way to reduce the stress you are experiencing.

Some of the statements are worded to describe extreme situations and they may not match your feelings. This scale can help you identify specific aspects of your life and situation that might need immediate attention. Also, you might consider contacting your doctor, a mental health professional, or a caregiver specialist to get their advice.

 

Woman Under Stress

These 24 questions were developed by gerontological researchers Mark Novak and Carol Guest (1989) and slightly modified in 1996 by Caserta, Lund & Wright at the University of Utah Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program.

They are part of the Respite Booklet put out by the Program.

 

 

**

 

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