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Caregiver's Self-Rating Scale
The scale is a 1-10 continuum which describes the various styles of caring.
- Abandonment -- To withdraw protection or support or to actively abuse your
- Neglect -- To allow life-threatening situations to persist or to display
consistent coldness or anger.
- Detachment/aloofness -- To maintain an air of detachment or being aloof,
perfunctory in your care, no genuine concern, only obligation. Concerned only with
physical well-being of your care-receiver.
- General support -- Given freely, with a guarded degree of warmth and respect,
occasional feelings of manipulation. Concerned with both emotional and physical well-being
- Expressed empathy -- The ability to feel what your care-receiver feels. a quality
relationship where feelings can be freely expressed and caringly received with
non-judgmental positive regard.
- Sympathy -- Feeling sorry for care-receiver, giving sympathy, focusing on the
losses experienced by care-receiver.
- Occasional over-involvement -- Care characterized by periodic attempts to do for
rather than be with.
- Consistent over-involvement -- Care-receiver regarded as object of series of
tasks which must be performed.
- Heroic over-involvement -- Care characterized by sometimes frantic and desperate
attempts to provide for every possible need your care-receiver has; increased dependence,
care-receiver not allowed independence.
- Fusion of personalities -- Between caregiver and care-receiver. The caregiver's
needs no longer have any value or meaning; the caregiver has abandoned him/herself to
needs of the care-receiver.
You can place yourself on the Scale of Caregiving to determine how you value your
care-receiver as compared to yourself. The low numbers give little or no value (honor) to
the needs of your care-receiver. The high numbers (8, 9, 10) give little or no value to
your own needs as an individual and as a caregiver. The numbers in the middle are where
you find a balance between undercare and overcare. Neither of the two extremes is healthy;
they represent positions where you are not helping your care-receiver.
(Source: San Diego Mental Health Services)
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