Self Care Tips for the Caregiver

12.18.2017
Curated by
Whitney Bailey
Content via Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
Source: 
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
Curated by
Whitney Bailey

 

picture of cindy and her daughter beth

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!

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