Although the meeting was moved to the coziest room at The Pirates House, it was still a wonderful Friday at RCSE with Terry Enoch becoming a Paul Harris Fellow and Kim Tanner doing a Member Minute!  President Jason Jones reminded everyone of the Back to School School Supply Drive for Haven Elementary.  Once all Rotary business items were discussed, Tonya Hillis spoke to the club about caregiver burden and burnout.  
Tonya is the Director of Operations and Community Relations at Coastal Care Partners.  She says the most challenging job she has ever had was being a caregiver for her mother.  There are 53 million family caregivers in the United States making it a public health issue although very little money is spent on it.  The average monthly rate at a senior community in the Chatham County area is $5,000 per month.  If your loved one needs to be in assisted living, the cost would be $7,000 per month.  It is cost prohibitive to become older which is why a lot of the caregiving burden falls on family.  
Unfortunately, caregivers stop doing things they would normally do.  Caregiver burden is the strain or load carried on the caregiver which directly leads to caregiver burnout.  Burnout is a state of exhaustion with overwhelming fatigue.  Prevention for burnout is asking for help, taking breaks, getting out of the house, making doctor's appointment for yourself, exercising and eating well.  If you want to help a caregiver, offer tangible things.  Don't ask, just do!  The Edel Caregiver Institute is a wonderful resource in Savannah if you need help with caregiving.