Saturday, October 25, 2014

Day 25 - Care for the Caregiver

As a caregiver, you must make sure to take care of yourself!  I can't be much clearer than that; but let me share the first paragraph from Chapter 13 "Caring for Yourself" in the book, "The 36-Hour day":

1 "The well-being of the person who has dementia (or, I might add, any other illness) depends directly on your well-being.  It is essential that you find ways to care for yourself so that you will not exhaust your own emotional and physical resources."

The Caregivers Action Network lists 10 Tips for Family Caregivers 2
  1.     Seek support from other caregivers.  You are not alone! 
 2.      Take care of your own health so you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one.
 3.      Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you. 
 4.       Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors. 
 5.       Make sure legal documents are in order.
 6.       Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!
 7.       Be open to new technologies that can help you care for your loved one. 
 8.       Organize medical information so it's up to date and easy to find.
 9.       Make sure legal documents are in order.
10.    Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!

While the above list is helpful, it is by no means all-inclusive.  There are many ways to take care of you – and I feel this list addresses many of them.  Personally, I have learned a lot while writing this series; and have connected with other caregivers as well.  I know that I need to address several of the above tips – such as numbers 3, 8 and 9, to insure I am cared for and things are in order in case someone else has to step in to help.  I am constantly learning new things as I continue on this journey of “Dementia’s Demands”.

I highly recommend the book that I have been referring to in my posts – “The 36-Hour Day”.  It has been a great resource to me over the years (the Fifth Edition that have is the second of this informative book that I have purchased).   The book has answered many questions for me – long before I started searching for additional information online.

If nothing else is learned from today’s post, I hope you, as a Caregiver, have learned that it is essential to take care of YOU!

1 The 36-Hour Day by Nancy L. Mace, MA, and Peter V. Rabins, MD, MPH, Fifth Edition
2 Caregiver Action Network - CAN - click here


  1. I think I have heard of that book. Worth looking into! These are great tips.

    1. The book has been a BIG help to me! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Replies
    1. Yes it is! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. We are noticing signs of dementia in my dad who is in a nursing home so I will have to come back and read more. I really really need to be better informed. Thanks for your post here. I love the list! Very helpful and easy to read.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting! I hope when you come back to read more, you find helpful information!! I'd say the most important thing is to make sure you DO take care of yourself if you are the caregiver - or encourage whoever IS the caregiver (I know with him in a nursing home, it would seem as if he had the nurses, etc. but family still has tasks they need to do). When my mom was in the nursing home, I tried to visit every couple of days, and we were picking up her laundry and washing her clothes at did get to be too much with me also working full time and having my own house to take care of. She finally realized that and told me to come once a week on the weekend (Sundays were our day together!) and also to let the NH do the laundry. So much better for me!!


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