We’re closing out 2014 and looking at a fresh new page in 2015. That means it’s time to make your New Year’s Resolutions! Ugh? Nope, we’re focusing on a positive and supportive year for our family caregivers. We’re not mentioning more exercise, losing weight, or giving up smoking in our list of resolutions for caregivers.
We know that family caregivers work hard every day and you work hard to make life better for your aging parent or other loved one. We’re suggesting New Year’s Resolutions that we hope will make your year run smoother and provide joyous moments for you.
1. Ask for help!
Most friends and family want to help. However, they may not know where their expertise can aid you the best. There are caregiver websites that help families organize their care team by allowing the caregiver to post tasks where assistance is needed.
For instance: Drive Dad to eye appointment with Dr. Smith at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, January 20. Approximately a 2 hour appointment.
Check out this care team calendar online tool provided by the Alzheimer’s Association.
2. Join a support group or learn a new coping skill.
Check out local support groups or read literature on your aging parent’s illness so that you can anticipate changes in their care needs.
3. Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing or aromatherapy.
Find out what works best for you and resolve to spend a few minutes each day concentrating on relaxation tips.
4. Monitor your own health.
It’s easy to forget your own health needs while caring for a loved one. Schedule your annual doctor’s appointments early in the year.
5. Hug your loved one.
Take a moment to remind your Mom or Dad that you love them. Remember to enjoy the good times while trudging through the everyday routines.
6. Love yourself. You are terrific!
But you already knew that, didn’t you! Thank you for everything you do every day and Happy New Year!