Saturday, March 10, 2012

Caregiver Survival

Being somewhat ambulatory in a household where everyone else is less than somewhat, I've found the following  choices to be especially helpful.
First, faith.
Faith in God.
Faith in a better future, even if the future is as close as tomorrow and the "better" is as small as a cup of hot chocolate on a cold afternoon, an entertaining television show, laughter following a night of tending to someone in pain or a day of taking reluctant people to doctor appointments and blood tests.
Faith that what I do for incapacitated or young relatives matters, even though mostly it's cooking, cleaning, driving, reassuring and making sure medications are properly taken, appointments are kept, reckless behavior is quashed, each chore is completed in time for the next chore.

Second, brief flights of freedom.
Hobbies that make me forget everything for awhile; for me, reading, art and creative writing.
Meeting a friend for lunch, because after people in my house are fed, they hardly notice my absence until dinner but in the evening they all want to tell me something or need help with forms or homework, and they fear the dark and my disappearance into it forever if I leave.
Sometimes a nap or a long, hot shower in the middle of the day constitutes escape and rejuvenation.

 Third, the Caregiver's Golden Rule: Remember to do unto one's self as one has given and done for others.

Fourth, faith.

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