Many families today are faced with caring for members of their families who have serious illness. It could be dementia in an elderly parents, autism in a child or any other serious illness that may need looking after a loved one long team. It could be parenting a newly born child. It could be merely looking after elderly parents by having them live in your home like most baby boomers are now doing. Most baby boomers cannot imagine leaving their parents out in the communities or seniors homes simply because they have aged. It is especially difficult for very closed family in their prime years, to now live in seniors setting. These groups of baby boomers bring their parents into their own home as it is done in many communities world over. These baby boomers work outside the home full time, have their own families, children and grandchildren as well as their own lives to live.
When caring for your elderly parents in your home, a few miles away from you whom you visit daily or weekly, or caring for a new born baby for a first time parent, a child with some form of disability, brother, sister or even a friend with very serious illness, it is import that the caregiver take time of for themselves not only for doctors’ appointments and checkups, for personal care, time off from caring for others to care for self and have a ‘ME TIME.’ Not taking time off to care for self may result in an unfortunate situation. The caregiver need a break and time off without feeling guilty.
Why is ‘ME TME’ important? Recently, a friend of a friend whom I will refer to as Mrs. A has been caring for her seriously ill husband with stage three cancer suddenly dropped dead after dressing up to take her husband to a routine medical checkup. Mrs. A had worked full time, managed to care for her aged parents who no longer are able to care for themselves. Mrs. A drive her parents to doctors’ appointment twice a week. The stress of her husband with cancer and her aged parents’ took serious effect on her. When caring for a loved one, it is important that you take time off to incorporate into your schedule your personal doctors’ appointment, ensure you have a regular blood pressure check-up, when tried, take a break, do not feel guilt.
Listen to music, seek out friends, eat nutritious and balance diet, go to a movie that would make you laugh, ask for help from other family members, friends and others to help you babysitting your loved ones while you take time off. It is important that you nurture yourself while caring for your loved ones. You need a minimum of seven hours of sleep and laughter; yes, lots of laughter and better still, look at the positive side of caring for your loved ones and lighten your heart with humor. If possible have volunteers assist you from supportive groups.
Talk to your doctor and they will recommend or suggest possible groups you can join and how to fine volunteers to help you take time off when needed. Not only should you find time to relax, also buy out time to care for yourself. Write your feelings and personal thoughts, keep a blog if you can. The bog and personal notes may become the stepping stone for a book about your caregiving on the long run that may assist other people in similar situation in the future.