Recharging your batteries is one of the most
important ways to help your loved one.
R: Rest. One of the most important things a
caregiver can do for the person theyíre caring for is to take care of
themselves. A caregiver who wears himself out, and keeps going 24/7
E: Eat right. Take a cue from your loved oneís
diet and take the opportunity to eat healthy things as well. Maybe you
donít have to adhere to such a strict diet, but eating right certainly
C: Communicate your needs to others. Donít expect
anyone, even other family members to read your mind about what you need
or what your loved one needs. Let people around you know the things
that need to be done and that occasionally; even you could use a hand.
H: Hydrate. Drink lots of water. Water hydrates
your body and keeps you energized.
Take vitamins if you donít get enough nutrition
from your food
A: Accept help. This can be the hardest thing for
the caregiver to do, but itís one of the best things a caregiver can do
for their loved one and for themselves. When people offer to help,
often caregivers turn them down because they donít want to burden them
or because they canít think of something off the top of their heads.
Get over the notion that the only way to get it done is to do it
yourself. When you have a few moments, really think about the kinds of
things that will make life a little easier. Then when people ask how
they can help, youíll be ready. When you tell someone something very
specific, theyíre more comfortable doing it, and youíll get the help you
need. Helping makes people feel good about themselves. Donít deprive
anyone of that joy.
R: Respite. Caregivers should make a point of
getting away sometimes, to take a mini-respite for themselves. A movie,
lunch somewhere, window shopping or just walking along the beach or
through a park can be enough to get some distance, and come back with a
fresh perspective on things.
G: Get enough sleep. This is often the hardest
one to manage because youíre on someone elseís schedule. But sleep is
one of the best things we can do for ourselves. Eight hours are ideal,
but the concept of getting eight uninterrupted hours of sleep might be
impossible. Try breaking sleep up. Get what you can in one shot, but
take a nap during the day. A short nap can be very refreshing and just
the thing you need to get you through the day.
E: Exercise. Anything will help. Walk around the
block a few times a day when you have a few spare minutes. Try yoga,
something that will exercise your muscles, yet relax your mind.
Meditate. Spend a few minutes alone and quiet.
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