1. ACKNOWLEDGE that your situation can be overwhelming. Don’t suppress your emotions or force positive thoughts. Be honest with yourself about the situation. Look for a service that provides guilt-free care for your loved one while you take some time to regroup. You will find an emotional balance without feeling overwhelmed. See #9 below.
2. EDUCATE YOURSELF on the illness of the person you are caring for. Honor the person’s spiritual level as it changes, providing comfort, support, and care. Your presence may be the healing guidance they need on their journey while in your care.
3. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF first so you are better able to care for your loved one or the one you are caring for.
4. SCHEDULE BREAKS at the same time each day, guilt free, so that no one will interrupt your needed time to yourself. It is very important to keep in a routine and schedule time with this or you may never get your much needed break.
5. GET ORGANIZED with schedules. Activities that stay on a structured routine keep everyone happy, because there are no unnecessary surprises. You don’t want to upset the person in your care, which causes you extra stress.
6. GET OUTSIDE of the home environment so you negate isolation. Interaction with others is crucial for your mental health, and going outside for a walk in a natural setting will do wonders for your mood.
7. GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP to avoid grumpiness and mood swings. Moods turn despondent, social interest disappears, thoughts turn negative, appetite becomes erratic, and concentration wanes. Depression creeps in slowly, without your realizing it. Rest is crucial.
8. REDUCE YOUR EXPECTATIONS and enjoy the time with the person in your care, making mental snapshots of beautiful, picture-perfect moments instead of trudging through the day missing the miracles. Our priorities may change as we realize what is really important in our lives. The lessons in life sometimes come through our service, thereby, providing self-improvement by the giving of ourselves.
9. ASK FOR HELP if you need it (even the people-pleasers) in emergency situations. Do not try to do it all. Your health may depend on it. Don’t wait until it is too late to call other family members to discuss more care. Acti-Kare can be there when you need personal care for your loved one. Visit us at www.actikare.com or call Linda @ (203) 513-8470. How much does it cost for your mental health and peace of mind? Take action if needed. The person in your care would much rather stay in their home than anywhere else. Care is affordable and available!
10. TALK about what you are doing and going through and get support to face your deepest fears and pain. Experience rather than suppress your feelings. Talk to other caregivers for their support and advice.