In an effort to reach caregivers so I could let them know about the many services, resources, support and sympathetic souls who offer help and guidance out there, I recently joined Facebook & Twitter — finally!
Wow! Articles about caregiving abound! I wish I had the time to read all of them… From research findings, news, checklists and laws to tips, wellness and personal accounts, you can find something useful in the links and comments posted. I would definitely recommend joining both Facebook & Twitter! With so much information in circulation, however, I wondered what some of the creators of caregiving websites considered most important for caregivers. So I asked some of them!
I hope you, caregiver, will put into use the tips presented by the experienced contributors. They have been or are still caregivers who want to help others going through similar journeys. Remember you are among millions providing care borne out of love and respect for someone special. So when the going gets rough, reach out!
Thank you so much to Cindy Laverty, founder of The Care Company, for contributing the first of a series of posts providing practical tips for caregivers to better manage their role.
Cindy gained her expertise through hands-on caregiving of her ill former father-in-law. Sharing her knowledge to empower caregivers, she is a caregiving expert, speaker, senior-care commentator and author, and hosts “The Cindy Laverty Show” on Fridays at 10 am PST on CRN Digital Talk Radio (CRN1).
Please visit her website to find more insightful articles that assert caregivers “to care for a loved one while maintaining balance in their lives.”
“3 Tips for Caregivers”
By Cindy Laverty
Author of Caregiving – Eldercare Made Clear & Simple
I learned the hard way that the caregiving journey is about the caregiver and how that person shows up in the world.
It’s so much about how we stand in our own personal power, but it’s easy to get stuck in the notion that it is all about how hard life is now that you have become a caregiver. Caregiving changed my life in so many essential ways and for that I am blessed, grateful and am determined to help others find their own empowerment…
1. You can’t fix what is wrong. When you try live with the Fix It Mentality, you are setting yourself for constant disappointment which leads to a feeling of failure. Stop fixing and learn to become an Empowered Advocate. You might not be able to fix what is wrong but you can advocate on behalf of a loved one who can no longer do that. There is personal power and strength in showing up as an advocate and you should never underestimate the power of that for your loved one.
2. You cannot and should not do caregiving alone! You must set up a support team, a group of people whether they are professionals, family members, friends, volunteers, anyone who is willing to show up and help you out. Caregiving is virtually impossible if you attempt to do it alone. You get nothing but heartache and exhaustion. Your loved one may protest if you bring outsiders in and that’s okay. You should not lose your life, your emotional sustainability or your soul because you said YES to caregiving. Reach out and ask for help and be very clear about exactly what you want someone to do. That may be cooking, driving, sitting with your loved one, paying bills, etc. There are things you can delegate to others, but you must first be willing to ask. You will be amazed at how people will show up and be there for you.
3. Take time out each and every day to care for you! This is not optional. At the very heart of caregiving is YOU. You matter and if you feel like you don’t, then find out what happens if you get sick or suffer caregiver burnout. Self care is simply not optional. There is nothing admirable about a person who sacrifices his/her own life to care for someone else. At a minimum take one hour a day and care for you. Figure out three or four things that will help you get centered and do them. Alternate the days. Perhaps one day it’s exercise; the next day it’s meditation; the third day it’s something else. Whatever it is for you…you absolutely must engage in self care.
Click on Soul of Care to access “10 Powerful Keys to Reclaiming Your Life Without Turning Your Back on Your Loved One”
Facebook: The Care Company