Cindy Kolbe writes that “caregiving is handed down through our heritage and woven through our genetics and instincts. We take care of others through different stages of life, a meaningful expression of love for family and friends, young and old.” Cindy became immersed into a caregiving role when her teenage daughter (Beth) became a C6/C7 quadriplegic as a result of a car accident.
“Who takes care of the caregiver? You guessed it. On top of caregiving—always a challenge—caregivers need to fend for themselves. But how? The responsibility of the job is often demanding, time-intensive, exhausting, and uncertain.”
Cindy gives the following advice to fellow caregivers:
- Don’t be afraid to use your voice. Be assertive. Assertiveness helps in representing yourself and being a strong advocate for others.
- Connect with the person you are caring for. Build a partnership based on mutual respect. Try to understand that person’s perspective.
- Learn to prioritize. Keep things simple.
- Make sure you relax. Cindy suggests doing simple stretching and breathing techniques throughout the day.
- Ask for help when needed! Delegate specific tasks to people who offer assistance.
- Always have your own time during the day to do a hobby or activity. Cindy gives an example of reading a book.
Be sure to share these important tips for self-care with a caregiver you know!