FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN /
Message From the CEO...
Last week, I was in Arkansas for the first annual
Fort Smith Fearless Caregiver Conference and in
Tulsa for the Alzheimer’s Association’s regional
conference. The topics discussed at both events were
wide-reaching and powerful. As usual, I learned much
from listening to family caregivers. One topic that
we spent a good deal of time on at both events was
what I like to call the art of becoming the “CEO of
Caring for Momma, Inc.” And, as any good CEO would
do, the caregiver analyzes what support is needed,
from whom and asks for it. Coincidently, I
received a note last week from a reader that says it
as well as it can be said. Hmmm, maybe there
are no coincidences.
I want to say thank you for all that you do for the
caregiver. Being able just to read the
newsletters and attend the conferences gives very
helpful tips and encouragement to us all. Here
are just a few things that I do from time to time to
help develop "me" time.
I let go of the excuses that I make. Sometimes
as caregivers we find it less of a hassle to do
everything ourselves and not ask for help.
Sometimes it feels that asking for help
inconveniences us just as much as it does others.
Having to make all the arrangements seems like a lot
of work. When I feel like I need a break, I
don't allow myself to say, “I don't want to be a
bother.” I ask for it.
I know someone else mentioned this; I also take half
days from work on Fridays. Being able to be at
your own pace and just enjoy what it is you want to
do is very relaxing. It may be to shop, catch
a movie, or just sit on a friend’s sofa while they
are not there and take a personal breather.
One thing new that I did this year was to take one
"full" day to myself. I left that morning and
did not come back until late that night. If
you don't have "respite hours" that you can use for
that, seek out a friend or family member that will
give up their day to spend with your loved one.
Lastly, Gary, I always try to take periodic trips
during the year. They don't have to be very
far, but at least two full days where I am away from
home with no calls asking how to do this and that;
just time alone for me.
Again, thanks for answering the call of taking care
of the caregiver.
Couldn’t have said it better myself, Nancy.