Help for Caregiver Burnout

Caring for an aging loved one can be a blessing and a burden. I recently experienced this firsthand. When my 98-year-old grandmother, who was suffering from dementia, arrived in our home for a "trial visit," we were completely unprepared for the challenges of caregiving. As with many dementia patients, she had managed to mask her decline while living in familiar surroundings, a home she had owned for over 50 years. However, once in our home, it was clearly evident she needed a higher level of care than we could provide. While the time we spent with her was precious, I wish we had been better prepared. It would have alleviated much stress and anxiety for all of us.

Whether you are the primary caregiver or overseeing your loved one's care in a facility, the demands on caregivers is often overwhelming at times and can lead to burnout. If you are a caregiver or preparing to take on the care of a loved one, there are some great resources including an upcoming seminar, "Caregiver Burnout: Is Your Flame About to Fizzle?", January 18, 2018 at the Redmond Library.

The 36-hour Day

If I could give you only one book on caring for someone with memory loss, this would be the one.  My grandmother's caregiver in the adult family home we placed her in recommended it. I wish I had read this before we undertook her care. This revised edition is a classic in its field and a great place to start.

Cruising Through Caregiving

Author Jennifer Fitzpatrick offers practical advice from her wealth of personal and professional experience. She shows readers how to reduce the stress involved in caregiving and provide loving care while avoiding exhaustion and burnout.

Passages in Caregiving

Author Gail Sheehy draws on personal experience to lead readers though what she identifies as the eight crucial stages of caregiving. This book holds readers' hands through the caregiving journey and provides invaluable advice and great resources for just about every situation.

Juggling Life, Work, and Caregiving

This practical guide is the companion to the PBS documentary Caring for Mom & Dad and provides everything you need to navigate and balance the challenges of caregiving. Another must-read.

Walking on Eggshells

A basic guide to dealing with the daily stresses and issues of caring for a critically ill loved one. The advice on how to talk with your children is especially helpful.

Meditations for Caregivers

A great place to turn when you are feeling drained and your soul is weary. Real life stories and anecdotes remind you that you are not alone and help you see caregiving as a mission of the heart.

Chicken Soup for the Soul

Another uplifting Chicken Soup for the Soul book that offers stories ranging from caring for a spouse with cancer to juggling raising children and caring for a parent at the same time. Its 101 short stories offer a quick bit of encouragement for the weary caregiver.

Also in eBook format.