Q – How can I do around-the-clock caregiving and avoid burn out?
A – Make yourself the #1 priority by putting your needs first. Manage stress, eat well, get adequate rest, ask for help and keep doing the things you love to do. Always keep in mind “What would happen to your loved one if something happened to you?”
Q – How do I handle the non-stop pressure and demands of caregiving?
A – Constant activity, running around from one task to another, will beat you up and wear you down. When you are given a break take it. If you have an hour to yourself, don’t feel guilty and start cleaning the kitchen or garage. Stop, flop and reward yourself with my time and fun stuff!
Q – Why do I feel that caregiving is taking over my life?
A – Many well-meaning caregivers make the mistake of dedicating every waking minute to the needs of their loved one. They give up the things they love to do because they feel guilty leaving the house. Staying home stuck in a rut can soon become a bad habit that leads to boredom and resentment.
Lunch with the girls or golf with the boys is exactly what you need. Leave your loved one alone or in good hands and get out! If you don’t find time for your life, you will surely lose it.
Q – How can I stay positive?
A – You can only think one thought at a time and you can choose the thought. When you have a negative thought simply replace it with a positive one. You have the power to control your thinking. Make every effort to keep your head full of positive thoughts so when negativity knocks it can’t get in!
Q – Why do I feel frustrated?
A – You are stuck with something that you don’t want and there is nothing that you can do about it. You don’t want to lose your life to the demands of caregiving while at the same time you know that no one can take better care of your loved one than you. Worse than that, you want to see your loved one doing better but you cannot control the course of the disease or aging process. Lack of control, in any situation, leads to frustration. Try to be accepting of life as you know it. Be assured that today is exactly as it should be.
Q – How do I keep from getting run down?
A – Caregiving takes its toll. It’s no job for sissies. Waiting on someone around-the-clock can wear you out physically in a week and mentally even faster. To feel strong and empowered, you need to stay fit. Bolster yourself with healthy food, appropriate exercise, adequate rest and a super support system. How can you keep going when you’re too tired to stand up?
Q – How do I handle interfering family members who keep telling me what to do?
A – If you are the primary caregiver, you rule! No one but you is in the position to make choices or decisions that directly affect you or your loved one. If well-meaning family members or friends try to give unwanted advice, tell them that if they are not making a hands-on contribution to the demands of the day to please stay home and keep their mouth shut. You have earned this right!
Q – How can I do everything?
A – Don’t do big time consuming jobs that can easily be accomplished by someone else. Your time is taken up caring for yourself and your loved one. You don’t have time to clean the house, wash the windows, vacuum the pool, manicure the yard, detail the car and groom the dog! Hire out these tasks if possible or ask your super support team to lend a hand. Those who love you will gladly help when given the chance.
Q – What can I do to keep from feeling depressed?
A – Depression is a low blue mood that lasts for more than a few weeks. If you are living with an unhealthy amount of stress there is a good chance that depression will creep in. Try fast and easy stress busters that could save your life! Say No…Limit Change…Eat Well…Take Time Off…Ask for Help…Listen to Music…Get Exercise…Do Fun Things…Meditate Daily…Beach It…Dine Out…Enjoy Family…Go Shopping…Think Positive… Pray… and on and on…
Q – What is the best thing I can do as a caregiver?
A – Maintain the self-respect and dignity of your loved one as he/she has lost it and you are the only one who can give it back. Encourage independence through praise and motivation. Allow your loved one to do as much as possible for him/herself because the more you do for yourself the more under control you feel. Always speak in a kind respectful manner and work as partners throughout the day. Success will be yours.