15 Sep 2014
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HOW TO PREVENT FAMILY CAREGIVER BURNOUT

      The Signs of Family Caregiver Burnout, and What You Can do to Prevent it

    If you have been caring for a loved one for months or years, you may find yourself
suffering from caregiver burnout and not even realize it. “There are at least 10 signs of family
caregiver burnout that can occur,” says Bob Tucker, a qualified dementia care provider (QDCP)
and the co-owner of the Northbrook-based Senior Helpers office serving north and northwest
Chicagoland. “It is important to let other members of the family know what is happening to you
and the effect burnout is having on your own health.”

          Ask yourself are you:
    ☐ Withdrawing from friends, family and other loved ones.
            ☐ Feeling blue.
            ☐ Experiencing changes in your sleep patterns.
           

            ☐ Irritable.
            ☐ Losing interest or having no time for the activities you used to enjoy.
            ☐ Noticing changes in your appetite, your weight or both.
            ☐ Getting sick more often.
            ☐ Emotionally or physically exhausted.
            ☐ Feeling like you want to hurt yourself, or the person you’re caring for.

      “If you are suffering from one or more of these symptoms, it’s possible you aren’t getting the
help you need,”  Tucker says.
    Being a family caregiver is a difficult...and sometimes a thankless job. Many days, the job
seems overwhelming because you lack the resources, hands on help or experience to effectively
organize and conduct all of your loved one’s care. Often, caregivers place unreasonable demands
upon themselves because they think providing care is their exclusive responsibility.

          Preventing Family Caregiver Burnout -
         “It is very important to find someone you trust, such as a friend, another family member,
co-worker or neighbor, who will let you talk about your feelings and frustrations,” says Abbie
Tucker, senior advocate and client services director, certified senior advisor (CSA), a qualified
dementia care provider (QDCP) and the co-owner of the Northbrook-based
Senior Helpers office. “Whether your loved one is suffering from a progressive disease like
Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s or physical limitations due to a stroke, you must be realistic about
your loved one’s health and just how much you personally can do to help them.”
         Abbie Tucker believes that as a caregiver, it’s important to accept the fact you may need
help with caregiving. “Turn to other members of your family or a professional service for help
with some tasks. We often create programs for families for just a few hours per week that can be
life-changing for the person affected-and the caregiver.”
         The Chicagoland North Senior Helpers’office was selected as the affiliate office for the
Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA). This has resulted in this office establishing an
Alzheimer’s/Dementia care resource center for the community. All of the materials-books,
DVDs, other educational materials, articles and magazines about dementia- are available to
anyone in the community for no charge, as is a free consultation and access to all of the AFA
programs.
    To make an appointment for a free initial meeting or memory screening, please call 847-
564-7500, email Bob Tucker at rtucker@seniorhelpers.com or visit their website at
www.seniorhelpers.com.

        

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