Friday, February 28, 2014
Ever wonder if you can care too much??
Take a look at their list and see how many you answer 'yes' to. Then take some time to carve out for yourself and tell yourself it is all right to have a life separate from those you are taking care of.
1 - You use words like "always" and "never" with regard to caregiving. You always have to be there or do something, no one else can. Watch out for burnout.
2 - Your friends seem to have stopped calling. Maybe you constantly turn down invitations because you feel the need to be by someone's side 24/7. Or maybe your conversations with people always revolve around caregiving duties. Take time with friends to clear your mind, get back to your interests, laugh some, drink some wine and laugh some more.
3 - You have a hard time remembering the last time you were happy. Do you feel overwhelmed? Can't find anything in the day to make you happy or smile about? You need to find something to give you the 'warm & fuzzy' feeling inside.
4 - Everyone assumes you will step forward to help. No one else steps forward because you are the one always doing something. Ask for help; unfortunately people will take advantage of your good nature if you let them. As someone once told me, "don't expect much from people and you won't be disappointed". Caregiving can be overwhelming and people know their lives will change big time so they don't want to get involved. Ask anyway!!
5 - You are overweight or out of shape. You need to take care of yourself first in order to best take care of someone else. Make sure yout eat well, take a walk, get enough sleep (your family member naps, you nap -- just like when there were babies around). When it comes to your well-being, be selfish.
6 - You can't remember the last time you took a vacation. Even if it is overnight somewhere local, take some time away. Have a relative or friend stay with your family member, check into respite services, call some assisted living communities in your area, some may take people in for a weekend while family takes a break. Check into 'short term stays', like this one.
7 - Your conversations always are about caregiving. See # 2. You need to get out!!
8 - You have no hobbies. Maybe it can be something you can do with your family member like baking, knitting, sewing, or scrapbooking (which has wonderful contributions for the elderly parent too), but also allow yourself break time - read a book, see a movie, go shopping. Get the grandchildren to come over and entertain.
9 - You can't sleep through the night. It may be because the elderly parent doesn't sleep and keeps you up. Maybe it is just stress or you are not feeling well. Somehow you need to get some rest. Here again, take a night off, try meditation.
10 - You dread waking up in the morning. If you feel spent and 'heavy hearted' as the article says, you need to get help. No one can be expected to do things all by themselves for a long period of time. "Nobody, not even the most well-intentioned, big-hearted, and selfless among us -- is meant to endure a tough situation all alone, day after day, year after year."
To read the entire post, click here.
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4 Signs of Caregiving Stress Overload
ElderCarelink email posts 4 signs that should not be overlooked by you, the caregiver, or a close family member or friend. They report that even though the immediate caregiver may not be helping in direct care, the mind is never far from the needs of the older person, thinking about meals, falling, medications. Take the opinion of a family member or friend if they are telling you that you are stressed. Four signs: you skip your own physicals; you isolate yourself from others; you eat and/or drink too much for good health; you are short tempered with the elder, your spouse or your children. If any or all of these sound familiar, take a break no matter how short in order to recharge. For more information on caregiver stress see ElderCarelink
You can check out my ranting and stream of consciousness writing about looking at adult service providers with Will.
A Caregiver's Poem
I was looking through a 'Caregiver's Blog: Senior Care Support' and came across a poem that was shared by a writer, Dana, from the blog. The poem was written by Becky Netherland and Dana's grandmother shared it with her. I thought it was great and there is not much to say about it - just read!!! Enjoy!!
(picture from Caregivers Blog)
I’ve traveled paths you’ve yet to walk
Learned lessons old and new
And now this wisdom of my life
I’m blessed to share with you
Let kindness spread like sunshine
Embrace those who are sad
Respect their dignity, give them joy
And leave them feeling glad
Forgive those who might hurt you
And though you have your pride
Listen closely to their viewpoint
Try to see the other side
Walk softly when you’re angry
Try not to take offense
Invoke your sense of humor
Laughter’s power is immense!
Express what you are feeling
Your beliefs you should uphold
Don’t shy away from what is right
Be courageous and be bold
Keep hope right in your pocket
It will guide you day by day
Take it out when it is needed
When it’s near, you’ll find a way
Remember friends and family
Of which you are a precious part
Love deeply and love truly
Give freely from your heart
The world is far from perfect
There’s conflict and there’s strife
But you still can make a difference
By how you live your life
And so I’m very blessed to know
The wonders you will do
Because you are my granddaughter
And I believe in you.
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