Excerpt of an article by Toby Edmondson
A majority of us will be caregivers at some point in our lives. As loved ones age, debilitating disease, chronic health conditions or simple frailty can soon follow. While some employ paid providers, most rely on unpaid assistance from families, friends and neighbors.
Caregiver burden can lead to fatigue and, over time, can cause depression. Having a strong network of support can help! Remember, in order to care for others, you have to care for yourself!
According to an expert, whose name I can no longer remember, successful caregivers embrace the following:
- Take care of myself. This is not an act of selfishness. It will enable me to take better care of my loved one.
- Seek help from others even though my loved one may object. I recognize the limits of my own endurance and strength.
- Maintain facets of my own life that do not include the person I care for, just as I would if he or she were healthy. I know that I do everything that I reasonably can for this person, and I have the right to do some things for myself.
- Get angry, be depressed and express other difficult emotions occasionally.
- Reject any attempt by my loved one (either consciously or unconsciously) to manipulate me through guilt, anger or depression.
- Receive consideration, affection, forgiveness and acceptance from my loved one for as long as I offer these qualities in return.
- Take pride in what I am accomplishing and to applaud the courage it sometimes takes to meet the needs of my loved one.
- Protect my individuality and my right to make a life for myself that will sustain me when my loved one no longer needs my full-time help.
- Expect and demand that as new strides are made in finding resources to aid physically and mentally impaired persons in our country, similar strides will be made toward aiding and supporting caregivers.
Thanks to Toby Edmondson for writing the post from which this excerpt was taken; and all the people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible to share the picture, text, and links in this post.