ARTICLES / Caregiver / Caring
at Work /
By LeAnn Thieman
attention to your own feelings and emotions and seek
counseling if needed. While itís impossible to
always leave the stress and heartache in the parking
lot, try to keep emotions in check at work.
Vent feelings to trusted family members or friends,
not coworkers. Schedule time for yourself. Use
relaxation or stress management techniques, such as
meditation, visualization, biofeedback and yoga.
Stay actively involved with friends and hobbies.
Create a support network and/or join a support
time, even as little as 15 minutes per day, for
prayer or meditation. Read or subscribe to
inspirational magazines or books to uplift your
spirits. Seek the counsel of a minister or religious
leader you trust and respect.
Seek Support: Ask for help.
Friends, family, and church groups are often eager
to assist and are only waiting to be asked and
directed. Find respite care so you can regularly
take time out for yourself. There are countless
community, state and national resources to support
you not only at work, but at home. Most cities have
programs to offer assistance to the caregiver. The
National Family Caregiverís Association,
www.nfcacares.org, is an excellent start in
accessing this information. Another great resource
is your local Area Agency on Aging. With the passage
of the National Family Caregiver Support Program in
2000, all AAAs have a mandate to address the needs
of family caregivers. Finally, if needed, you may be
able to utilize The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA),
a national policy that guarantees covered employees
12 weeks of unpaid leave each year to care for a
newborn baby, a newly adopted child, a seriously ill
family member, or to recover from their own serious
health condition while ensuring their job security.
Each state has different regulations. To learn about
yours, call your state legislator.
Following these tips will help you better tend to
your job, your loved one, and yes, yourself.
LeAnn Thieman is
coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Caregiverís Soul
and a nationally acclaimed professional speaker,
author and nurse. To purchase Chicken Soup for the
Caregiverís Soul go to the Caregiver Store at
To learn more caregiving issues, her books or