9 Essentials of Caregiving

9 Essentials of CaregivingI’ve been a Caregiver to my mom since 2011. Not to mention a caregiver to my own children since 1999. But my mother suddenly became critically ill, which required hospitalization & rehabilitation. All of this left her too weak to live on her own, so she moved in with my family & I. While I wouldn’t classify her as “healthy” now, especially considering her recent diagnosis of diabetes, she’s stable. We’re grateful that we’re able to accommodate her & that she’s close to her granddaughters.

That being said, there are certain things I wish I would’ve known from the beginning. As they say, hindsight is 20/20. So I’m sharing 9 things I think are essential to caregiving. Perhaps my hindsight will be useful to someone.


  • SET BOUNDARIES EARLY

Something that was quite elusive to me for most of my life {thanks therapy!}… I’ve realized that it’s smart to consider what my boundaries will likely be from the beginning & then be clear in communicating them. By not setting boundaries early, they become harder to set & enforce later; trust me. Once you’ve set a boundary, reinforce it!


  • MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF

Everyone needs & deserves time for themselves! No guilt allowed! When we take care of ourselves we’re better equipped to care for our loved ones. It’s not pretty when I’m unable to get healthy doses of alone time! -Just sayin’ You may enjoy this blog post >> 31 Days of Self-Care.


  • MAKE TIME FOR YOUR PARTNER

Unfortunately, it’s far too easy to inadvertently give our partners the brunt of things because, well, they love us unconditionally. But that’s not fair & they don’t deserve it! Take care of yourself {physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually} so you can be good to the people you love.


  • DON’T GIVE IN TO GUILT

Whether it’s self-imposed or not, let it go! This has been one of my biggest struggles & something I feel that all Caregivers battle. It’s easy to feel that you can always do better or more; but that’s life! Relax! Feel confident in the fact that you’re doing your best. You may enjoy this blog post >> Letting Go of Toxic Guilt.


  • ASK FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT

We all feel overwhelmed from time-to-time {or always}. But if you feel yourself reaching a breaking point don’t be prideful, ask for help.


  • GATHER & ORGANIZE ANY IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

We don’t want to think about hard times, but if & when these times arise we won’t feel like searching high & low for the items we need. Better to do it now. It will give us peace of mind knowing that these things are in a tidy place.


  • LET GO, FORGIVE, & ACCEPT

I feel that all three are required in order to feel somewhat successful at caregiving. Anger & resentment have no place in caregiving. Let go of grudges. You may enjoy this blog post >> Grudges: Let Them Go!


  • PRACTICE COMPASSION, EMPATHY, & PATIENCE

These are easier if the previous is accomplished. I’m better at this some days than others. I’m definitely working on improving in this area. Mindfulness helps.


  • SUPPORT & RESOURCES

Caregiving.com – Caring for You as You Care Before, During, After

Caregiving.org – National Alliance for Caregiving

CaregiverAction.org – Help for Cancer Caregivers


What caregiving suggestions do you have??


Krista-Lee-Pfeiffer :: Blogger & Creator of TheSunnyShadow.com


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