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COVID-19 and Hidden Family Challenges: What About Family Caregivers?

preprint
posted on 05.04.2022, 22:46 by Carolina OliveiraCarolina Oliveira, Luciana Sotero, Ana Paula Relvas

Background: Covid-19 has brought socioeconomic and health-related changes worldwide and unique challenges with no time for adjustment. Family caregivers of dependent patients were one of the hardest hit groups.

Methods: This paper draws attention to how family caregivers navigate throughout this pandemic amid its daily changes, stressing new obstacles that arose, and what to expect in the foreseeable future. Empirical literature and clinical experience contributed to this insight.

Results: Along with the already frequent burden and distress, they are facing additional responsibilities and complex decisions, such as “choosing” between their own health or their family member’s.

Conclusions: Family caregivers must seek family physicians and/or mental health professionals assistance to avoid feeling overwhelmed, to be supported in the meaning- and decision-making processes, and to activate their support network.

With a “new way of grieving”, often without in-person goodbyes, a systemic and resilience-oriented approach could help individuals create meaning and seek a purpose towards the future.

Funding

2020.06575.BD Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia

History

Declaration of conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

Corresponding author email

carolina.arc.oliveira@gmail.com

Lead author country

Portugal

Lead author institution

Faculdada de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação da Universidade de Coimbra; Centro de Estudos Sociais da Universidade de Coimbra; Chicago Center for Family Health

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