Healthcare professionals emphasize the importance of caregivers taking care of themselves.
Reverend G would agree.
We can’t sit beside the bed day after day without a respite. We’ll go crazy. We need to take a break.
We need to utilize the daycare centers for Alzheimer’s patients and share our struggles with support groups. We may need to spend time with a therapist to deal with our own emotions and the beginning stages of grief.
We need short vacations and long vacations.
Remember how our parents left us with babysitters so they could have a night free? The roles are now reversed, and we need to do the same. Take a break. Schedule a free night.
Some ways to take of ourselves include:
- Walk through a rose garden and thank God for all the varieties He created.
- Browse through a quaint little bookstore, pet the store cat and buy a book—then take the time to sit down and read it.
- Observe the Sabbath and share a meal with friends.
- Spend time alone and do nothing.
- Go to a movie and munch on the popcorn that isn’t good for us.
- Watch a funny video.
- Take time to enjoy a sunset and thank God for the golden sky.
And if your loved one is in such need of care that you can no longer do it, find the right facility and arrange for the best of care. Then don’t feel guilty.
My friend, Esther Kreek, cared for her husband for 16 years. She is now 81 years old with a speaking itinerary about historical topics. Esther says, “I don’t do windows or guilt.”
None of us want our children to feel burdened or to grow sick because of the stress of our care.
So… take care of yourselves.