Hi. My name is Arlene Gaynor and I’m one of the Nurse Case Managers at New Horizons. Today I would like to talk a little bit about family caregiver burnout.
So I speak with many families, many family members who are the caregivers and I go to many homes, and one thing I notice is how lovely the homes look, how good the food smells, and frequently the contentment on the face of the person needing care.
Then I speak with the family: the son, the daughter, or spouse, or family friend. They are concerned that they don’t have the patience for their loved one. They worry that the house isn’t clean, the food is perhaps not good enough, and they frequently don’t feel good about all the work that they have done to create this beautiful environment for their loved one.
You are doing a good job. You’re doing a good job.
When we are family caregivers, we sleep with one eye open, we are hyper-vigilant, we lie awake listening to the breaths, listening for the fall, for wandering around the house, for the front door opening. We sometimes feel that something is wrong with us, that we’re weak or not loving enough. It’s important that you know that you are doing a good job. And when the caregiver arrives, you can go out and go for a walk and visit your friends and relax. And then come home and cook with your mom, or play chess with your dad, or watch TV or watch the sunset with your spouse. And feel a little less like a caregiver and a little more like a daughter, or a son, or a spouse.