2011 The Year of The Caregiver...well not officially
No this is not an official name of the year or anything, I just coined the term now. It is my way of asking all caregivers out there to try and do one nice thing for him or herself once this year, once a month, once a week or if you can once a day. Too often caregivers get caught in the cycle always being available for their loved one, concentrating on what their loved one needs, being distracted by thoughts of whether the loved is okay or not and in general feeling tired and worn out. The caregiver’s needs get left to last and often there is no time or the caregiver feels he or she just doesn’t have the strength to do it. Caregivers, try to make a resolution for 2011 that you will do something nice for yourself at least one time this year if not more.
And for those of us who are not caregivers, maybe we could make a new year resolution to help a caregiver out. Offer to give him or her a break for an hour or more and stay with the loved one. If you are not comfortable with that due to an illness the person might have, maybe offer to go to grocery store for the caregiver or pick up prescriptions. Maybe make a meal and deliver it to the home or offer to help with something like shoveling snow or putting trash out. Trust me any little thing you do to help is a big help.
Also, last but not least don’t ask a caregiver what you can do to help because he or she is so overwhelmed that asking is just adding another thing he or she has to do. Watch and listen and you will see or hear what needs to be done and then you can offer. Join me in making this The Year of the Caregiver!