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The Roller Coaster of Caregiving /
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The Roller Coaster of Caregiving
By Jane Cassily Knapp, RN, LCSWC
What you can do to assist in
caregiving and to care for yourself.
Allow others to help you.
Be assertive of your needs.
Set healthy boundaries.
Use respite services.
Participate in support groups and
Take time out for yourself and your
family; take vacations.
Make sure you have planned caregiver
relief routinely into your weekly schedule. (i.e.
Every Tues. from 2-5 my sister Mary comes in to care
for Joe. Or my friend from the church comes in every
Wed. 1-3.) Don’t wait until you are exhausted to ask
Maintain your own health. Keep
routinely scheduled doctor appointments, counseling
appointments; get adequate sleep and nutrition.
Use a “baby” monitor so that you
have peace of mind while working in the yard or
doing anything out of ears’ length of your loved
Use a monitor if applicable so that
you can safely leave your loved one for short
Invite friends in.
Create a private space for you and
your family within your home for socialization away
from the dependent person.
Allow yourself to vent your
Don’t beat yourself up with guilt.
Compliment yourself for the
tremendous caregiving job you are doing.
Jane Cassilly Knapp has a been a
healthcare professional for many years. She has always
felt privileged to have worked with family caregivers
throughout her career, saying, “I never fully
appreciated the caregiver role quite so much until I
found myself juggling the demands of providing care to
an elderly family member in my home, while caring for my
growing children, and working in my career full time. I
then drew on the wisdom I had gained from the families I
had served and realized that all the time I was helping
them they were helping me as well.”