July 4th CAREGIVING

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Sue Collins

July 4th

Maybe your holidays always look like the perfect Norman Rockwell painting. If they do, we’ll come to your house.  For a caregiver, this time can add a whole new set of physical and emotional stresses in an already stressful situation. Planning helps to lighten the load (as does asking family and friends for short-term help so you can enjoy the Fourth too!

1.BREATHE

2.Don’t get stuck in traditions. Instead of playing host, suggest someone else do it and offer to bring a dish. If your loved one is house bound, go potluck. Have family members help serve and clean up.

3.Schedule visits when your loved one is most energetic.

4.Try to include your loved one in planning. What are their strengths and wishes? Also ask yourself: What am I up to doing? Then act on that information.

5.Talk to family and friends about your fears and anxieties. Don’t bottle them up.

6.If you have an overnight guest, take advantage. Don’t be afraid to ask them to sit with your loved one (if necessary) while you take a nap or hot bath or perhaps even go out for a while for coffee with friends. Remember you need to continue to live your life as much as possible and not wait until you are no longer caregiving.

  1. Caregivers need to nurture their own relationships and their own health – especially if one of you is ill. Don’t be afraid to call on family and friends who have offered to help. Have a short list of possible errands, chores, little things that will help you as caregiver when someone asks: “Is there anything I can do for you?” Answer Yes! Thanks! And be ready with specifics.
  2. BREATHE

Wishing all caregivers and their loved ones a happy, safe, and stress-free Fourth of July.

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