How Not To Go Nuts – The Three Be’s of Caregiving:
Caregiving can be frustrating and overwhelming. So many times we feel that we are doing not enough or too much. More often than not, we feel that we have lost control. With the loss of control, we feel lost. How do we prevent ourselves from going nuts.
I once learned a tool that I would like to share that helps me gain control over a situation: The Three Be’s of Caregiving:”Be Prepared, Be Honest,Be Well”.
It’s hard to carve out the time needed: doctors, specialists, physical therapists, attorneys, financial planners, services, etc.
· Gather information early on and as soon as possible, so that you have the information to make choices when needed.
· Keep the information organized
· Work together with your loved one (if possible) and ensure that s/he knows where and how the information is maintained.
· Use a clear calendar and appointment book
· Prepare for appointments and check-ups
· Include time and space for yourself
You may find yourself wanting to be everything for everyone or nothing for anyone. No matter the reason or desires in your new role, you must deal with them. Be honest about how much you can handle and your limitations and then be honest about who can help. It’s essential to set realistic limits on your abilities, respect your boundaries and welcome the best help possible.
To find your limits and boundaries, ask yourself regularly:
· What are your limits as a caregiver?
· What or who can fill those voids?
· How long can you afford (financially, physically, and emotionally) to continue in the manner you are in?
· What, if anything, needs to change?
Caregiving is a long-term commitment. It’s sad and often difficult to watch a once-vibrant family member struggle to perform basic daily activities. It’s confusing to be a part of the shift in the family roles.Maintaining who you are outside your role helps you stay well. In all that you do, one priority stays constant: Your own health.
· How can you continue with your interests?
· How can you stay physically healthy?
· How can you release all those negative emotion of caregiving in a healthy way?
· In what areas do you need help? How can you get the help you need?
· In what ways can you bring joy and laughter into your life (and the life of your loved one) on a regular basis?