I feel sure that you must know that you are the greatest resource your friend has. Right off the bat lets be clear, when I say “friend”, this references your family member, your friend, your client, your patient or whatever name you wish to use for the fortunate person you care for. The person being cared for is a friend on one level or another. We must keep this in mind as we go through the day-to-day task of walking beside them. This is another point I want you to know, we walk beside this person, never in front or behind but beside. The journey is theirs, we only provide the help along the way.
One of the keys to being a good caregiver is to take care of you. As we provide for our friend we tend to forget about our own needs. If we take care of ourselves we will be there for our friend all along this journey we have embarked on. It is so easy to lose sight of our own lives and needs, while providing for a friend who cannot at this minute take care for themselves.
You will need to help others give you a break. Certainly, asking someone to help is a good beginning, but maybe you want to provide an experience for your friend as well. Many assisted livings and Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) offer Respite Care. Certainly we can not all afford this (although very reasonably priced), but what we can do is when asked “what should I get you or your Friend for Christmas?” Respond with the name of an environment or setting you have found meets your friends needs. Respite can be for only a few hours to an overnight visit. This will give both of you a much-deserved break.
Please take a few moments and plan ahead for a break. Using a canvas grocery bag or alike, to place things you would take if someone walked through the door and said you have four hours go be free. We can take a book, a coupon for a movie theater, a warm wrap, a bottle of water, maybe some lotions and polish to give you a manicure and those few pieces of chocolate. It is important to pack this now, because if we have the opportunity we do not want to have to think of what will I take.
There maybe times if this bag is in your car when we will take it out and use it for another reason. That’s fine but as soon as possible we need to put all the items back or maybe we have something else we want to put in. Please try to remember that it cannot be emphasized enough how important it is to take good care of your self.
Next time lets look at a smooth and seamless medical appointment.