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Caregivers, Take Care of Yourselves at All Costs

2 Comments

Thank you for "telling it like it is." A great read. I am a caregiver to my brother with ALZ. I took on this responsibility 6 years ago. Yes finding time for me is difficult, but, I know I must, so I do. The next challenge is not feeling guilty about it. Then, trusting myself, my decisions and reasons on the "break" or "change" made. Due to brother/sister dynamics forever and the ALZ, being his caregiver has been a challenge, his old "just plain mean" behavior alive and kicking especially with me. Finding help has always been hard, but I never give up looking for the "right fit." I hear more no than yes to everything it seems, along with resistance. The right person is appreciated and respected because I know, witnessed, they make a "smooth ride." Knowing "doing something," other than watching tv is crucial for him, I have used a daily day program since day 1, a lifesaver, a time out for us both. I try to do respite care, when finances are there, at $300 a night it's not always a "can do," but it's nice, spoiling. A normalcy takes over, I am free of a set routine and schedule for him, tasks waiting to be done, wondering and worrying 24/7. Caregiving is hard, physically and mentally. It's easy to suggest "fun things" and our intent is there to do them yet reality takes over, we're stressed and tired, so hopefully we recharge ourselves, not forgetting to take care of us. God Bless All Caregivers

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Great article. The easiest first thing a caregiver can learn to do is practice mindfulness. There is a lot of instruction online or in a class. Spending 20 minutes a day mediating is a first good step. You will feel refreshed. Learn about it and do it.