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Eight Tips to Managing Caregiver
Look for the cause of the guilt : What is the mismatch
between this “Ideal You” and the real you? Do you have
an unmet need? Do you need to change your actions so
that they align with your values?
Take action : Meet your needs. Needs are not bad or
good; they just are. If you need some time alone, find
someone to be with your loved one.
Change your behavior to fit your values: For example,
Clara felt guilty because her friend was in the hospital
and she didn’t send a card. Her guilt propelled her to
buy some beautiful blank cards to make it easier for her
to drop a note the next time.
Ask for help : Call a friend and say, “I’m going through
a hard time. Do you have a few minutes just to listen?”
Have a family meeting and say, “Our lives have been a
lot different since grandma got sick. I’m spending more
time with her. Let’s figure out together how we’ll get
Revisit and reinvent the “Ideal You” : You made the best
choices based on your resources and knowledge at the
time. As you look to the future, you can create a
refined vision of the “Ideal You.” What legacy do you
want to leave? What values do you hold dear? Then, when
you wake up in the morning and put on your clothes,
imagine dressing the “Ideal You.” Let this reinvented
“Ideal You” make those moment-to-moment choices that
create your legacy.
Understand that you will be a more effective caregiver
when you care for the caregiver first. Loved ones
neither want nor expect selfless servants. As a
caregiver, when you care for yourself, you increase and
improve your own caring. Yes, guilt is part of
caregiving, but this guilt can help you become the
caregiver you and your loved one want you to be.