Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 209 Written by Rhonda Morris for Elizabeth Blackwell www.pewsocialtrends.org /2015/05/21/4-caring-for-aging-parents/ Are You Heading for Caregiver Burnout? By Paula Spencer Scott Caring.com What’s your caregiver burnout index? Answer the following 12 questions, add up your score (A = 4 points, B = 3 points, C = 2 points, D = 1 point), and learn lifesaving strategies for managing the unique stress of caregiving. 1. How often do you get a good night’s sleep (seven or more hours)? a. Every day b. Often c. Sometimes d. Seldom or never 2. How often do you keep up with leisure activities that you enjoyed before caregiving? a. Every day b. Often c. Sometimes d. Seldom or never 3. How often do you feel irritable or lose your temper with others? a. Seldom or never b. Sometimes c. Often d. Every day 4. How often do you feel happy? a. Every day b. Often c. Sometimes d. Seldom or never 5. How often do you find it difficult to concentrate? a. Seldom or never b. Sometimes c. Often d. Every day 6. How often do you need a cigarette(s) or more than two cups of coffee to make it through the day? a. Seldom or never b. Sometimes c. Often d. Every day 7. How often do you lack the energy to cook, clean, and take care of everyday basics? a. Seldom or never b. Sometimes c. Often d. Every day 8. How often do you feel hopeless about the future? a. Seldom or never b. Sometimes c. Often d. Every day 9. How often are you able to relax without the use of alcohol or prescription sedatives? a. Every day b. Often c. Sometimes d. Seldom or never 10. How often do you feel over- whelmed by all you have to do? a. Seldom or never b. Sometimes c. Often d. Every day 11. How often has someone criticized your caregiving or suggested you're burning out? a. Seldom or never b. Sometimes c. Often d. Every day 12. How often do you feel that someone is looking after or caring for you? a. Every day b. Often c. Sometimes d. Seldom or never WELL-BEING Check your results on page 13. My siblings were relatively absent during most of this process. Because of my proximity to my mom, by default I became the primary caregiver. They checked in on me periodically, but this did little to assuage the tremendous amount of stress I was experiencing. When I was at my breaking point, I so- licited help from a professional and was relieved to find out I wasn’t losing my mind, I was however losing myself. The path to recovering from caregiver burnout requires help both profes- sionally and spiritually. Together my counselor and I designed a recovery plan that needed-- no demanded that my siblings step up and alleviate some of the burden from me. I began to do things for myself, meditation, walking and reacquainting myself with my social network. My mom will never be the spry woman of years past, but she is recovering and relearning how to be self-suffi- cient. Through my support channels, she is living in an adult community that has 24hr doctors on site. She also has begun a healthier daily routine and surprisingly has made some new friends. (Private joke shared by family) She’s happy! Coping Dealing with the challenges accompa- nied with this life transition will not be a walk in the park but with support and communication a family can sur- vive this and come out better because of it. I still visit my mom at least two times during the week. Today I rely more on her support team provided by the Salvation Army in Tarrytown, NY, and senior advocacy programs for her day to day needs. At the end of the day, I know that it is through his grace that I was provided the strength and resilience to give back to my mom, what she gave me…Love, secu- rity and a lifetime commitment.