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Serving families in Palm Beach, Martin and Port St. Lucie counties

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Avoid the Caregiver Trainwreck - Take Time For Yourself!

Judie Rappaport
April 14, 2015

Dear Judie:

I am an only child with full responsibility for my Alzheimer’s Mom (86).  I’m a wreck—I’ve lost several friends because I don’t have time to chat on the phone—actually I don’t have anything to talk about except doctors, pills, and Mom’s craziness.  How can I change my mind-and-body-numbing daily life?

- Beth, Vero

 

Dear Judie:

Caring for Dad (80) is ruining my life.  Check that, I have no life—it’s all about Dad. Is 56 (my age) too old to run away? I need time for me!

- Paul, Ft Pierce

 

Dear Readers:  

One of the hardest tasks caregivers face is managing loved ones’ needs while trying to maintain their own quality of life.  It’s easy to become submerged in caregiving and forget to take time for yourself.  Starting your day with these five reminders can help:

  1. I will be kind to myself by taking time off from my caregiver duties to nourish and rejuvenate my body and mind.  I choose to help my loved one; I choose to help myself.  These two choices are not mutually exclusive.

  2. I will find 30 (or more!) minutes each day to rest, relax, and center my thoughts on my needs and wants. I may exercise, call a friend, or enjoy doing nothing.  It my time to do whatever soothes my mind and body.

  3. I will admit I cannot do this alone.  I will reach out to friends, family, and a support group for help and to talk about how I feel.  I know my emotional health is critical and talking about my concerns lifts a burden from my heart.

  4. When I look in the mirror, I will see myself clearly.  If I need a haircut, I will find the time to go to the hairdresser.  If I need to lose or gain weight, I’ll consult my doctor for an appropriate exercise/diet plan.

  5. I will acknowledge reality: caregiving is a job and like most jobs, you need education, training and ongoing assistance to manage effectively.  For help reducing stress and  improving your quality of life, call the experts at Alzheimer’s Community Care (Martin772-223-6351/St. Lucie- 772-460-9166; Ft. Pierce- 772 466-3261); Alzheimer’s Assn. (800-272-3900);  Vero Alzheimer’s/Parkinson’s Assn.  (772-563-0505).

Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services

Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight,
and Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©

 
 

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