Holiday Caregiver Guilt

UnknownYou’re doing so much, but somehow, it’s not enough. It’s never enough. At least in your own eyes. And frankly, you resent having to do it all, and STILL feeling like it’s not enough. This is what guilt feels like.  Yes, what you FEEL and what you intellectually know you SHOULD feel may be two different things, but that doesn’t help, at least not if it’s just you trying to talk yourself down off the guilty ledge. Like a good friend, award-winning OK Now What? A Caregiver’s Guide to What Matters holds your hand and helps to talk you down. A book on caregiving may not be what you imagine to be a gift to yourself for the holidays, but trust me, you’ll be glad you read it. We know, because we’re heard from scores of people who have resisted it, then finally picked it up out of sheer desperation, and with a big sigh of relief, found what they needed inside. And, it’s easily packable. Shove it inside your pocket, purse or briefcase, and haul it out when you need a bucking-up.

book cover
OK Now What? A Caregiver’s Guide to What Matters

Buy the book

Meanwhile, Caregiver.com offers a trenchant list of ways to assuage (and maybe expunge) your personal caregiver guilt, often born of resentment at the time, energy and attention it may take away from what you think you deserve to enjoy on this Hallmark-card-induced holiday.

caregiver.com

Advertisements

Family Feuds Over Caregiving

 

UnknownAnyone who has dealt with caregiving, whether a professional, as with Sue Collins, RN, co-author of the award-winning book, OK Now What? A Caregiver’s Guide to What Matters (Head to Wind Publishing, $16) or a non-professional, has most likely experienced some kind of disagreement about the best way to go about it. Siblings, who nearly always also carry around a collection of well-worn emotional baggage, are particularly vulnerable to (and adept at) disagreements over caring for an aging parent, for example. Finances often play a part as do the imagined wishes of the parent (which is why it is so important to get the paperwork in order while everyone is still firing on all cylinders), and finally, who’s in charge. Add the stress of the holidays and you have a recipe for a family brawl.

Caregivers.com has some suggestions:

caregiver.com

For an accessible, common-sense solutions to these kinds of caregiving challenges wrapped up in a convenient form that you can gift to recalcitrant siblings, get the book: OK Now What? A Caregiver’s Guide to What Matters. amazon.com

 

Seek Those in The Same Boat

People who are not in a caregiving situation, especially those who have never (or more likely not yet) experienced it, want to be sympathetic, want to help. But while you can accept their sympathy, even their help, there is nothing like talking with, being with, and sharing stories and tips with those who are currently in the same boat. Those people who are actively caregiving. Their situations may be slightly different from yours — their loved one has terminal cancer; yours is dealing with advanced Parkinsons disease, for example, or yours has Alzheimer’s while theirs has vascular dementia — they are in the trenches along with you. Seeking out those in similar current situations lets you know in a way that nothing else does: You are not alone!

The article (link below) details how caregivers can help support each other.971064c6-42b8-41c0-a373-b15010e84930

Caregiver.com

“Invisible” Caregiving

gary-sitting_webnewGary Barq’s memory of his Hungarian grandfather, who worked as a painting contractor in his own business until 80. When Gary’s grandfather developed Alzheimer’s the family who adored him, figured out a way to take care of him without destroying his dignity or their lives. It’s a touching story and one worth reading.  “Ok, We Go Now” – Caregiver.com

You can get copies of OK Now What? A Caregiver’s Guide to What Matters (Head to Wind Publishing) through caregiver.com or through amazon.com.

Resolutions and Daily Life

1-copy2

I’ve never been a believer in  thinking up New Year’s resolutions because for one thing, they’re usually the stuff I’ve been trying to accomplish or delete all year long, and stressing over it during the last few days of every year, when life is stressful enough, just seems counterproductive to me. Having said that, some of my friends make them, and find the annual deadline helpful. Some even achieve them! Today’s Caregiver Magazine (who gave us an award for our book — thanks thanks!) has the same kind of suggestions that we, and virtually every other person who has done/seen or been recruited into caregiving subscribes to. If you’re a January 1-resolution-person, AND are a caregiver (though many of them work just as well for those who are simply trying to improve our own lives and live the best way we can day by day), they’re spot-on.

Caregiver.com

National Family Caregiver Month Day 30

authors_sue_150
Sue Collins

Gratitude

 We are grateful to everyone for taking time to read our daily post during the month of November for National Family Caregiver Month. We hope you found the posts inspirational and have learned not to sweat the small stuff and to realize you cannot fix everything. When you begin to feel stress, STOP and take 3 deep breaths to center yourself.

As we approach the Holiday Season we would like to share an old post: Sue’s Favorite Smoothie to give your immune system a boost.

Sue’s Favorite Smoothie11401584_951767381512252_8341760167575151887_n

I have never been a fan of taking multi vitamins for several reasons: cost; the neon colored urine, which seems unnatural; and honestly, I forget to take the darn pills. For me making a smoothie is easy, plus I can control what I put into the smoothie (and my urine does not change colors — unless you add beets, which I don’t, I prefer to eat them!).

Recipe:

Greens: A handful. I use lacinato kale or spinach or a    combination

Banana: ½

Blueberries: 6-10 berries. I use frozen unless in season…

Fresh fruit in season

Flax seed oil: one tablespoon

Cinnamon: one teaspoon

Tumeric powder: one teaspoon

Protein powder: I use 2 Tablespoons of plant-based protein

Almond milk: between ½ to one cup depending on the fresh fruit used and

the desired consistency.

Blend together and enjoy

Greens: I prefer Lucinato Kale because I find it to be less bitter tasting then curly kale. Greens help detoxify the body, give you energy, helps with digestion and strengthens the immune system.

Banana: Rich in Potassium and vitamin B6, helps support heart function.

Blueberry: An antioxidant and some Vitamin C

Flax seed oil: Omega 3 thus it helps lower cholesterol

Cinnamon: Supports heart health, known to lower cholesterol

What Matters Most? Making care of yourself a priority.

Copyright © 2016 by Sue Collins and Nancy Taylor Robson. All rights reserved

National Family Caregiver Month Day 29

Bonus Day From The Leaders

 As we wrap up the daily posts for The National Family Caregiver Month, it seems fitting to repeat the words of wisdom from the experts who contributed to our blog.

We asked the following caregiving leaders: If you could give a caregiver only ONE piece of advice for their self-care, what would it be?

thGary Barg: CEO of Caregiver.com and Today Caregiver’s Magazine:

The most important thing you can do to support the loved one for whom you care is to care for yourself as well.

 

 


thDr Bernie Seigel: R
etired surgeon and author of numerous books on the relationship between the patient and the healing process. He is best known for his book Love, Medicine and Miracles.

I am a caregiver for my wife, 50 years of MS. When going through hell ask yourself what am I to learn from this experience. Learn to surrender you can’t fix everything.

 

 

aaeaaqaaaaaaaajlaaaajgvjywrhmgzjltgwnzgtnguwos1iymvmltvinzk0yjewogm3zgMarian Grant: Director of Policy and Professional Engagement at The Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC).

My advice would be that caring for a loved one is like running a marathon and you have to pace yourself. It will do no one any good if the caregiver sacrifices their health and well being for their loved one as both will suffer. Of course, this is easier said than done, but most caregivers in a longterm caregiving situation figure this out.

The theme here is clear self care for a caregiver is paramount to surviving and maintaining yourself in order to be an effective, healthy and balanced caregiver.

What Matters Most? Attitude, balance, connections, peace and love.