Kupuna Caregiver: Overcoming caregiver’s burnout

Kupuna Caregiver

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Kat Trilles has been a shining star at home and has been making a difference daily since becoming a caregiver in 2013.

But it wasn’t always like that.

“Mother-daughter relationship, that’s how we were. She was really stubborn, hard and very demanding,” said Kathryn Trilles.

Kat cared for her mom, Dad and Uncle starting in the late 1990s while working a full-time job and raising her daughter.

“How I do that? That’s crazy. But I did it, I had too,” said Trilles. “If not me, who’s going to do it? Nobody.”

KHON asked her, “Where did you get that resiliency from?”

” I don’t know. You just do it,” she said.

But there were lessons to be learned after Mom passed away in 2001.

“When you’re taking care of your own parents, you’re in a box. You don’t know what’s in the outside world. So when she passed away I went through these feelings of feeling guilty, feeling bad, feeling why I didn’t do that, why I didn’t do this,” said Trilles.

Her advice to other caregivers?

“Have patience with your own parents. Give them care, give them loving, give them consideration which I didn’t give my mom because I was too frustrated already too irritable. You know caregivers’ burnout? That was me.”

“But you know, too late. No more mommy. So what you do is you love them because you never know when God is going to take them away. Like that, gone.”

But before Mom passed, they had a heart to heart conversation.

“I told her mommy, ‘I’m sorry.’ I was crying already. ‘I’m sorry I yell at you too much. I sorry I got mad at you and all this bickering.’ And she put up her right hand because couldn’t talk and she went like this. It’s okay. So that stays with me.”

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