Impact of COVID-19 on Informal Caregiver Stress
VanZuiden, Emma M., 1998--
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The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the entire world to isolate, as no one knew exactly what it was, how it was spread, or who was most vulnerable to fatal consequences. This global lockdown cut people off from a lot of necessary resources, including access to any healthcare that wasn’t deemed essential. While priorities shifted to protect vulnerable populations, the system failed to fully prepare their informal caregivers for taking over all of their physical, psychological, and social needs. An informal caregiver is anyone providing care for another individual outside of a professional setting. This literature review aimed to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on informal caregivers and to find out what healthcare professionals can do to better prepare them for future emergencies. Caregivers described feeling unsupported by healthcare professionals, anxious about transmitting the virus to their care recipients, and more depressed during the pandemic. In addition, participants in several studies stated there was a need for increased tele-health services, thorough caregiver teaching, and opportunities for their care recipients to safely socialize. These findings emphasize the important role of evidence-based nursing in patient care. By ensuring thorough mental and physical assessments, consistently reinforced caregiver teaching, and facilitation of family-centered care, nurses can reduce a lot of the stressors faced by informal caregivers.