Caregiving – Wellness Notes August, 2013


August, 2013

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you: he will never let the righteous be shaken.”

 Psalm 55:22

Summer is wearing on, it is hot during the day, everything moves a little slower, many activities and friends have taken a summer vacation away,  and we are weary.   Many of us are now, have been, or may be a CAREGIVER.   Whether we are caring for a loved one,  caregiving is our livelihood, or we just need to care more for ourselves,   AUGUST WELLNESS  brings us a focus on caregiving.     Leeza Gibbons of Hollywood fame brings us new ideas for coping.   She states “Caregiving in general – is a thing we don’t really have language for.  Nobody really prepares for it, and it’s the ultimate sure thing.”   She gives us some comforting ideas:

  • First step is to seek advice and emotional  embrace from others with experience
  • Have conversations with family, the care receiver, and professionals about what care is needed and desired.
  • Let non profits, health agencies, online support, or support groups be an intervening force so you  or a family member doesn’t have to ‘wear the black hat’ in making caring decisions.
  • Use the Wellness techniques you used before this added stressor appeared.   WALK, HYDRATE, EAT HEALTHY, AND  SLEEP WELL.   Using support systems to allow those four functions to remain constant.
  • ASK FOR HELP:   seek out support groups,  Parish Nurses,  Physicians,  Health Care providers and Home Care Agencies  to provide support services and respite care.
  • Own the new reality of where you are.   Banish blame,  drop the dread, and claim the victory over victimization.  Realize when your “Pitcher is empty”  and allow for help with replenishing your energy and abilities.
  • Don’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself  (to do the above refueling).
  • Look for the new joys of the ‘new reality’ of your life.  Reclaim the traditions you might have forgotten,  spread some joy among the support system you have utilized,   share with others and your care receiver,   journal,  make small steps important.
  • BE POSITIVE:    This too shall pass, and we are never alone in this process.   Celebrate the gift of giving to another and look for the gifts that return.
  • Allow friends and family to get used to your new role as a caregiver.  Respect yourself for what you are doing and those around you will return that respect.   Act as a role model.

Hold fast to the LORD for his guidance and strength.

Alice Stephenson BSN,RN,PN

Parish Nurse Consultant


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