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Ways To Care For Yourself ... /
Keep a diary. Start today. Describe
your fears as well as your hopes, the reality of what
each day is like, Don’t be afraid to write about the
losses, big or small.
Stick with your diary. Let yourself record the little
victories, go back and review the earlier months and
years. Notice the personal, physical, emotional goals
and successes you and your loved one have achieved.
Create a simple communication network. Think of this as
a designated communicator. Choose a friend or relative
who will make all the calls and tell all the news when
there are calls to make and news to tell, you might want
to save the “big successes and wonderful news” sharing
for yourself, but you will be worn out if you are
constantly on the phone retelling the details of the
last days or weeks over and over.
Let your friends help you. When someone asks “Can I do
anything for you?” give him or her something to do. Let
your friend run an errand or stay with your loved one
while you take a break and get out on your own.
Visit with people you love, You may often have to ask
your friends or family to come to your house or keep you
company while waiting for your loved one’s treatment to
be over. You need to be a whole person who has friends
and interests and can think about something besides the
responsibilities of caregiving. You shouldn’t have to
reinvent your life when your caregiving responsibilities
Stay involved in your loved one’s personal life. Be
careful that your loved one does not slip from the role
of loved one, family member, friend into the role of
patient. Don’t let yourselves lose the relationship you
had prior to the need for caregiving.
Talk about it! There are innumerable fears and anxieties
associated with any illness or disease, which can and
will tear a person apart. Talk to your friends and your
loved one about your feelings. The worst thing you can
do is build a wall around yourself to protect others.
Keep the romance alive. Couples facing caregiving
situations are apt to forget to nurture the relationship
that brought them together up till this point. These
relationships need just as much, if not more attention,
now that one of you is ill, than they did before.
Include your loved one in your changes. As time passes
we all change in small and big ways. If you find a new
friend, discover an interest in a new genre of books or
music, find a new recipe or great place to eat, share
these as much as possible with your loved one. Introduce
your new friends, have them visit, if your loved one
cannot easily leave the house. Spend time reading the
new books aloud, listen to the new music together.
Keep setting goals. Before you were a caregiver, you set
personal goals. Your life did not end because you became
a caregiver. When the caregiver duties subside, you
should not “Return” to your life, you should continue
with your life..