Doctor’s Diary: Caregiver Burnout

Your in-need elder senior may be a spouse, family member, or friend.  They might be physically or mentally challenged, yet still require trips to the beauty salon, laundering clothes, or even fingernail cutting.  
From simple to complex, you are now responsible to care for them and sustain their quality of life.
Here are some suggestions.
Take care of yourself first:  -Be patient and allot time; -take respite utilizing family members or help from local organizations;make sure you have backup. 
Stay organized:  -Keep a diary of all medication, doctor visits, activities, and events; -know their primary care physician; -have legal papers readily available; -monitor finances closely;be prepared with air fresheners, odor-eliminating products, gloves, body wipes, and laundry capability; -adapt; -be creative. 
Use technology to provide a safe environment:  -In-home surveillance (baby monitor, emergency necklace or wrist button, cameras, motion detectors); -search the internet for problem solutions including caregiver support groups.
Know your options:  -Understand Medicare and insurances, and availability of home medical equipment.
And more. 
Thing NOT to do:  Get upset with your loved one
Be aware of caregiver burnout so you maintain the respect and dignity your loved one deserves.
Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.

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