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

Negotiating with A Loved One With Alzheimer’s

When my father, who had a brain tumor and who was fiercely independent, slowly grew to be unreliable in the handling of his bills, etc., I worried about trying to strong-arm him into letting go of their management. A friend said to me, in a reference to the biblical  ‘Honor the father and thy mother,’ etc.:  “You ARE honoring him by taking care of things, even if he doesn’t understand that at this point. It helped a lot. And, he allowed me to do that after a little negotiation, which relieved us both.

For the adult children of a parent with Alzheimer’s who needs in-home care, there are tricks to it. Gary Barg, Editor-in-Chief of Today’s Caregiver magazine, offers a great example of how to help a loved one who has been highly functioning but who now needs help, accept that help. How you characterize it matters!

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.

Balancing Caregiver Guilt

You can’t do it all. It’s not your fault!

 

So often, it’s coulda/shoulda with caregivers. No matter how much they do, they seem to feel as though it’s never enough– perhaps because our loving inclination is to try to heal or solve the problems our loved one is having. Even though we know that we can’t do it, there is always that nagging feeling that you might be able to if only you’d try harder, give up more of yourself, your life, found something — anything — that could do it. What we know in our mind is often at war with what we struggle with in our gut. It’s not healthy for either us or our loved one, and is, ultimately, not helpful to the situation. But even if you can’t completely dominate that nagging guilt, you can, with logic, persistence and support of those who have been there done that, assuage it.

Talking with others who’ve been there done that helps.

2016 Friendly Caregiver Awarded book, OK Now What? A Caregiver’s Guide to What Matters (Head to Wind Publishing)  offers suggestions for balancing guilt with reality.

Available Amazon

caregiver.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

Being Present Matters

A new study has found that teenagers want — and do better with — their parents just being around. Not necessarily always interacting with them, but just being there and available.’Potted Plant Parents’.  I’ve posted this NY Times link because I think it’s true in all kinds of ways — being present with other human beings is really what we need. We don’t necessarily need advice, conversation, non-stop guidance. Our being there is you making a statement that you are available. And care. That’s quiet love.

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