CARING FOR A LOVED ONE BEGINS WITH CARING FOR YOURSELF
To help prepare you for this difficult, honorable, and rewarding work, there are several things you can do to become a confident and capable caregiver:
- Identify yourself as the primary source of support.
- Ask your loved one about any wishes they have regarding his/her care.
- Assess what your loved one needs to be safe, cared for, and have a good quality of life; if needed, seek professional assistance in making this assessment.
- Get more informed. Read anything you can on hospice and talk with your loved one’s physician.
- Convene family and friends to discuss what is needed and how to allocate resources.
- Use positive communication tools to create a plan with your support network.
- If possible, agree on a plan of action and divide responsibilities.
- Be realistic about your limitations and those of your family members.
- Exercise and manage your health. Inadequate health regimes become most apparent during stressful times. You can’t help your loved one if you aren’t well.
- Designate someone to be available in case of an emergency.
- Know the best person to call when you feel the need to talk about what you’re going through.
- Identify activities or people that make you feel relaxed and happy.
- You will spend most of your days indoors. Make a point of getting outside, sitting in the sun, and taking in the outdoors.
- Finally, remember to spend loving moments with your loved one. This time will pass, and you will miss it.