New Years Resolutions for Caregivers
I just received the 2011 Family Caregiver Toolkit and Planner from the National Family Caregivers Association. The booklet is full of important information for caregivers including a calendar, medication log and page after page of tips on important topics such as avoiding medication errors, making the most of your medical appointments and coping with the burden of caregiving.
I especially like the Ten Tips for Family Caregivers:
- Reward Yourself.
- Watch for signs of depression.
- When people offer to help, accept the offer.
- Educate Yourself
- Be open to technologies and ideas.
- Trust your instincts.
- Be good to your back.
- Dream new dreams.
- Seek support.
- Stand up for your rights.
From: 2011 Family Caregiver Toolkit and Planner, www.thefamilycaregiver.org
The New Year is often a time to make plans and resolutions. If you are caring for an infant or child with reflux, I hope you will take time to pause and make plans for you and your family. As a caregiver, it is important to live in the present and take each day as it comes. At the same time, it is equally important to look ahead and set goals. When caregiving takes all of your energy and time, it is hard to plan ahead and feel any control over your life. You will feel more in control if you have a plan and goals to guide you. Examples of goals for your child might include: getting a second opinion, researching a new treatment or networking with other caregivers during the coming year.
It may be really important for you and your family to schedule time to talk, share concerns and set goals as a family. Examples may include having a discussion on household chores and responsibilities. A discussion on finances and paying the medical bills may be needed too.
These are great goals. But what about YOU? I hope you will think about what YOU need too. If you are really focused on caregiving or caregiving is taking all of your time and energy, you may have forgotten to even consider your own wants and needs. Your goals for this year may need to be really basic and include: taking time to stay hydrated, remembering to take a multivitamin and eating regular meals. You might want to focus on getting some exercise, fresh air and sunlight. Don’t forget YOUR regular health check ups and screenings too. While your calendar may be full of medical appointments for the baby, make sure you remember to go to the dentist and have a mammogram. Just remember that you are important and you deserve to have your needs met too.
Happy New Year!