Self-Care is Part of Being a Good Caregiver
A great article from The Advocate about how one can be a better caregiver. This passage is particularly important:
“Though patience is often a difficult virtue to achieve, strive to reach it each day with your loved one. The capacity to tolerate without becoming overly annoyed can make you a better caregiver. When tensions rise and you get criticized, frustrated or your feelings get hurt, take a deep breath, walk outside for fresh air, and make allowances of each other’s faults with a positive attitude and grace.”
Care professionals like to use the adage “put your own mask on first.” This refers to the instructions you receive from the cabin crew when flying, specifically in the event of an emergency parents, guardians and other caregivers must put on & secure their own oxygen masks before turning their attention to their charges. This isn’t selfish or uncaring, it’s the realization that you cannot be a good caregiver if you’re out of commission. The same concept applies to caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or any other debilitating condition. Carving time out of the day to eat well, take your own meds, do your own exercise, socialize with others and to engage in your own pastimes is self-care, and it’s vitally important. You can’t help someone else if you’re non-functional.
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