According to a Stanford University study, 40
percent of caregivers whose loved ones are living
with cognitive disorders will die from
stress-related disorders before the loved ones for
whom we care.
I remember standing in the doorway at the end of
the a Fearless Caregiver Conference we hosted
recently when an attendee told me that today she had
gotten the answers she was looking for concerning
stress management and that she'd be back next year.
Moments later, another attendee told me that her
only disappointment with the conference had been
that she did not find the "magic bullet" she was
looking for regarding stress. Yes, she had
learned about the importance of managing her stress,
how to get her family members to help, and how other
members of the audience successfully dealt with
their own stress and depression, but she felt that
there was no one magic bullet and for that she was
I thought about what she had said for a moment
and realized that actually all of the ingredients
for her own stress reduction recipe were in fact to
be found throughout the day's proceedings. She
just had to pick and choose which would work for
her. Of course, there is no one magic bullet for
every caregiver; but rather, there was the
opportunity to create her personal recipe for stress
management or if I may, "stressipe." All she had to
do was pick the ingredients off the shelves
throughout the day.
There was the caregiver who spoke of the value of
her support group, or the gentleman who discovered
his artistic talents, and the family member who
learned to take a "mental bubble bath." These are
all ingredients for the lady standing in front of me
to choose from in order to create her very own
signature dish. She thought about that for a
while, smiled and said, "You know, I think I'll be
back next year, too."
As far as I'm concerned, there can never be
enough cooks in this kitchen.