Lately I’ve been burning the candle at both ends and up the middle. Working two jobs, playing caregiver, whoops playing not the right word but you get what I’m talking about. My mom just turned 90 and now takes extra attention.
Once you hit the big six-o this is not so easy, you don’t have the same energy you had when you were 40.
At some point your batteries are going to wear down and you will need to recharge those batteries in some way. If people offer you help with things you are trying to do, accept the help, especially if they offered more than once, I think they might mean it. Plan a vacation for yourself or some time off from your duties.
I was thinking about a vacation, but sometimes the packing and the getting there can be just as tiresome as the day to day work you’re doing. Plus I would like to spend the money I was going to spend on airfare and hotels on some other things just for me, like a massage and a facial. You know how when you go on vacation, you have to allow some time at the end of the vacation to rest before you go back to your daily life? Exactly!
So I’m planning a vacation right in my house. I’m going to find someone to clean my house, detail the car and all of the things that I have been thinking about doing and I’m going to kick back and eat carrots, yes carrots, and peppers and fresh fruit, I’m also trying to be healthier.
There is a big world of caregivers out there and a lot of support groups. They help you to find resources and how to better take care of yourself. I learned in one support group that after focusing so closely on your elder’s care; making your own needs the priority could create some discomfort or guilt. Try not to let that stop you from replenishing your reserves. Your elder depends on it… and on you.
If you are in a caregiving situation, here are some things you must do: set realistic goals, seek information and use what you find, maintain your health, seek help, relax, exercise, and communicate with family and friends.
One interesting tool I came upon was a system called “Familylink” it is a communication system that allows you to communicate with your loved one from a distance. This is a really user friendly tool and easy for them to use. See it at Familylink.net. Take time for you, that is the most important thing that I have learned from my caregiver class.
So if you don’t see me at every event with my camera attached to my hand realize then I might be taking some must needed rest. If you do see me at an event and no camera maybe I’m there just to enjoy, support and have a good time and I’m not working on that night or that afternoon.
I have big retirement plans and I’m trying to stay healthy enough to achieve them.
(Email the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org.)