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The Caregiver’s First-Aid Kit

By Helen Hunter, ACSW, CMSW

 

One of the many training courses that I teach in the community focuses on caring for the caregiver. I give each participant a “Caregiver First-Aid Kit” as a reminder of the special significance they have in their role as a caregiver for their loved one.

The kit includes the following items:

The MATCH is to strike up and rekindle friendships and call on those friends when needed. Friends can help you when you need a break from the demands of providing care to your loved one.

By touching the match to the CANDLE, you are able to let the light shine through in your daily role as a caregiver.

The POST-IT PAD is for you to be creative and draw.

The CRAYON is for you to use in play, to color your world and to be creative.

The LIFESAVER is to remind you that you are a lifesaver to your loved one by your willingness to be a caregiver and that others can be a lifesaver to you when you need it. Just ask for help, and you’ll be happily surprised at the results.

The MINT is to remind you that you’re worth a “mint” to those who know you.

The HERSHEY’S KISS is a reminder that you are loved and appreciated.

The HEART-SHAPED GEMSTONE is a symbol of how SPECIAL you are to your loved ones.

I remind each person that they DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE and I THANK them FOR ALL THAT they DO!

For all of you caregivers who are tirelessly providing care for your loved one every single day, you are appreciated! Remember to ask for help if you need it, even for an occasional break. Studies show that those who receive an occasional respite break come back refreshed and recharged, and are better able to cope with the demands of daily care.

 

Helen Hunter, ACSW, CMSW, is an independent geriatric social worker consultant and trainer. She is also a writer, and has had numerous articles published in local and national magazines, focusing on elder care and family care issues. Licensed in the states of Connecticut, New York and Florida, she currently resides in Fort Myers.

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