This month’s article focuses on caregiver burnout. Being a caregiver can be exhausting and take a toll on a caregiver’s health. I have had a few weeks experience of caregiver exhaustion. I know it is a very small sample compared to the 24 hour caregiving a lot of you are doing for your loved ones.

As you may have read on Facebook, Matthew burned his leg while riding a 70cc motorcycle. Because the motorcycle is smaller, I wasn’t thinking about it the same as I would have thought of a larger motorcycle. Matthew was riding in shorts and hit a bump out in the pasture. The bike fell on his leg and burned his thigh. It is a 2nd degree burn. I took him to Presbyterian hospital and was told life threatening emergencies would be seen in about an hour and non-life-threatening would be seen in 3 to 4 hours. I wasn’t sure it was a good idea for us to wait that long to treat his burn, so I took him to Minor Emergency of Denton, and he was seen in 30 minutes. For treatment of burns, I was told that ice is no longer recommended, just a dry dressing. The Doctor told us to scrub his leg twice a day after soaking for 10 minutes. Matthew is supposed to take a pain pill one hour before the bath, so I have been getting up at 5:30 to give him the pain pill and then waiting an hour to scrub. It has not been a fun experience.

I have had 2 different healthy clients who were taking care of their husbands die before the husbands. I have seen the duties of a caregiver effect the health of many more people and seen healthy spouses get very ill as a result of the exhaustion. If you are currently a caregiver, please take care of yourself as well.

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Leigh Hilton P.L.L.C