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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Summer of Respite 2011 /   Editorial List

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 Summer of Respite 2011

Now that the summer is in full swing, it is time to consider how to give a break to the most important person in your loved oneís life Ė you. Turn to the caregiver sitting next to you in the doctorís waiting room and ask what they are doing to take some time for themselves. 

Email me your own respite tips to share within this column.  If everyone sends their favorite tips, Iím sure there will be plenty of interesting ideas for all of us to add to our own lists. For those who think that respite is an impossible dream, Iím going to jump-start this list with great ideas from family caregivers.

From Mary:  Before I start out each day, I set a specific time for just me. My best time is at 7:00 p.m. when my day is done. I sit down and pamper myself.  I get in a relaxed mood, make myself a nice dinner, sit back and take care of me. By the time I am ready to go to bed, I am mentally satisfied with my accomplishments of the day. I cuddle in for the night, thank God for my abilities and for the day He gave me, and then I go to bed to sleep tight until morning. My philosophy is "You cannot care for someone else until you first care for yourself."

From Jan:  I get up at 6 AM, make myself a pot of tea, and sit and read a few chapters of a book. This is my time, so I only do something for me for an hour. My husband usually does not wake until 8, so this early morning gives me my daily respite. I also take about 30 minutes after I get him in bed at night, have a mug of hot milk and read again.

As Mary and Jan prove, respite is something that can be achieved at home on a daily basis and does not necessarily mean taking a trip away.  Although, that would be nice, too.

My Respite Tips

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Gary Barg

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