Caregiver Burnout

Caregiver burnout is real, even for family members.

Family members want to do it all themselves and often feel guilty about asking for help and may wait too long to seek professional help. Below is the true story of a man who showed signs of caregiver burnout but waited too long to get help. This story illustrates the adage, “you can’t help anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself first.”

The Decline

Eight years ago, my bride of 53 years, Ruby, was diagnosed with dementia. Not a surprise because I had seen the subtle changes in her. She started forgetting things, then became progressively more agitated and wouldn’t let me help her take a shower and get cleaned up. Ruby and I met with a Keen Life Care Manager about four years ago, and she suggested care services four hours a day to give me a break. She told me I must take care of myself; otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to look after Ruby. She said we’d really be in trouble if something happened to me. I was initially hesitant because I was afraid Ruby wouldn’t let someone enter our home…

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