Caregiving changes your life! It is either soul enhancing or soul smothering. Yet Gail Sheehy, author of Passages in Caregiving, Turning Chaos into Confidence, suggests some universal “helps” that can offer refreshing new air during the hard pull of caregiving.
1) Have conversations with your siblings (community members) before a crisis emerges.
2) Hold a family or community meeting and ask a neutral professional to chair it.
3) Join a caregivers support group. St. John’s Community Care has two support groups, one for Alzheimer’s caregivers and one general one for Family Caregivers. Find it under Caregiver Support on stjohnscc.org We even provide day care for your loved ones so you can attend the meeting.
4) Take regular exercise (sweat).
5) Give yourself at least one hour of rest and relaxation every day. Check out a Home Services Caregiver or one of our two Adult Day Programs to give your self a well deserved and needed respite.
6) Give yourself longer breaks at least every six weeks (a respite or vacation).
7) Do not fall into the trap of “playing God” by assuming responsibility for everything.