We know the New Year is approaching when we start seeing the use of “lists” everywhere. You’ll probably see an increase of “Top 10” lists for 2012, shopping lists, To-Do lists, and a list of resolutions for the next year. Now is a great time to think about making a resolution list for yourself if you’re caring for a loved one. You might ask yourself what aspects of caregiving has been a big struggle this year or things you’d like to see happen in the coming year. Here are some resolutions we’ve come up with in hopes that 2013 is a good year for caregivers and their families.
- Take time out. Try to make it a goal not to let stress overwhelm you. If necessary, remind yourself to take breaks – whether it is for 5 minutes to breathe, or a day or two in order to rejuvenate.
- Treat yourself. It is easy to forget to give yourself a break while you’re caring for someone else. Allow yourself to do something you enjoy every day or at least every week next year.
- Have a positive outlook. You may find that a simple change in mindset would be a great resolution.
- Get support. To make the upcoming year better, joining a caregiving support group in your area or other support groups may be beneficial. You can find many communities for various caregiving subjects in our resource tools page.
- Journal. Writing your thoughts and frustrations down on a regular basis may help you process and synthesize the everyday difficulties that my come with caregiving.
- Educate yourself. You never know what you might gain from simply seeking out information. Learning as much as you can about your loved one’s condition may help you be better prepared for any unexpected struggles.
- Organize your life. A goal to organize records, papers, and keep logs of appointments may be a cathartic thing to consider.
- Care plan for yourself. Caregivers often don’t have time or are so focused on their loved one to consider care plans for themselves. Be strategic and tactical; think about mortgage, finances, insurance and your health.
Perhaps a good resolution overall would be to evaluate the quality of life for you and your loved one over the course of the year with the help of a third party. You may find that a GCM, a cleric or health professional can consult with you and your family to help find effective ways to live life while caring for a loved one.
Charlotte Bishop is a Geriatric Care Manager and founder of Creative Case Management, certified professionals who are geriatric advocates, resources, counselors and friends to older adults and their families in metropolitan Chicago. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.