I just read Dee's post about burnout. My sympathies to all of you who work and take care of a loved one when you come home. My situation is different. I am lucky enough to have been able to retire early. While this sounds so much easier than what Dee is experiencing, it has its downside. My husband, like Dee's mother, has COPD. His thinking has begun to suffer. I now have the responsibility of taking care of finances, the house, etc. His health has deteriorated to the point where we are not able to go anywhere. We rarely see other people. Lately, I find that my self-esteem, like my husband's mental abilities, is rapidly deteriorating. In comparison to other men and women my age, I have no life and nothing of interest to offer anyone in a conversation. When I was working, my self-worth was much higher. Now I feel like the only thing I'm good for is to keep someone alive who sits and watches television all day long. If my husband dies before I die -- and I'm not so sure he will -- I don't think I'll be able to regain the self-confidence I once had.