Nursing diagnosis – risk for caregiver role restrain



Caregiver is vulnerable for felt difficulty in performing the family

caregiver role


• Not developmentally ready for

• Situational factors, such as

caregiver role (e.g., young
adult who must unexpectedly
care for a middle-age parent)

close relationship between
caregiver and care recipient;
discharge of family member

• Evidence of drug or alcohol

with significant home care

addiction in caregiver or care
recipient, health impairment
of caregiver, severity or unpre-
dictable course of illness, or
instability of care recipient’s

needs; inadequate environment
or facilities for providing care;
isolation, inexperience, or
overwork of caregiver; lack of
recreation for caregiver; pres-
ence of abuse or violence;

• Evidence of codependency;

simultaneous occurrence of

deviant, bizarre behavior of care
recipient; dysfunctional family
coping patterns that existed
before the caregiving situation

other events that cause stress
for family (significant personal
loss, natural disaster, economic
hardship, or major life events)

ASSESSMENT FOCUS    (Refer  to  comprehensive  assessment  parameters.)

• Behavior

• Neurocognition

• Coping

• Role/relationships

• Knowledge


The caregiver will

• Identify current stressors.

• Identify appropriate coping strategies and will state plans to incor-

porate strategies into daily routine.

• State intention to contact formal and informal sources of support.

• State intention to incorporate recreational activities into daily rou-


• Report satisfaction with ability to cope with stress caused by care-

giving responsibilities.


Caregiver Emotional Health; Caregiver Home Care Readiness; Care-

giver Lifestyle Disruption; Caregiver–Patient Relationship; Caregiver

Physical Health; Caregiver Stressors; Caregiving Endurance Potential;



Determine: Help caregiver identify current stressors. Ask whether

stress is likely to increase or decrease in the future to evaluate the

risk of caregiver role strain.

Attend: Encourage caregiver to discuss coping skills used to

overcome similar stressful situations in the past to bolster caregiver’s

confidence in ability to manage current situation and explore ways

to apply coping strategies before caregiver becomes overwhelmed.

Help caregiver identify formal and informal sources of support,

such as home health agencies, municipal or county social services,

hospital social workers, physicians, clinics and day-care centers, fam-

ily members, friends, church groups, and community volunteers, to

plan for an occasional or regularly scheduled respite.

Encourage caregiver to discuss hobbies or diversional activities.

Incorporating enjoyable activities into the daily or weekly schedule

will discipline caregiver to take needed breaks from caregiving

responsibilities and thereby diminish stress.

Encourage caregiver to participate in a support group. Provide infor-

mation on organizations such as Alzheimer’s Association and Children

of Aging Parents to foster mutual support and provide an outlet for

expressing feelings before frustration becomes overwhelming.

If caregiver seems overly anxious or distraught, gently point out

facts about care recipient’s mental and physical condition. Many

times a caregiver’s perspective is clouded by a long history of emo-

tional involvement. Your input may help caregiver view the situation

more objectively. Suggest ways for caregiver to use time efficiently.

Better time management may help caregiver reduce stress.

Manage: If you believe that excessive emotional involvement is hin-

dering caregiver’s ability to function, consider recommending Code-

pendents Anonymous to provide support.


Caregiver Support; Home Maintenance Assistance; Referral; Respite

Care; Role Enhancement; Support Group


Perren, S., et al. (2006, September). Caregivers’ adaptation to change: The

impact of increasing impairment of persons suffering from dementia on
their caregivers’ subjective well-being. Aging and Mental Health, 10(5),