Suggestions for How to Cope (As a Care Giver)

An excerpt from Jewels for Caregivers by Helen Flynn.

This excerpt was originally intended for caregivers of terminally-ill individuals, but much of this advice also resonates with widowed individuals. It is important to remember to live in the moment. Don’t obsess over changing the past and don’t try to avoid waves of grief. Instead, take things as they come.

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Suggestions for How to Cope

  1. Accept the circumstances as they are at this moment. The past is gone and tomorrow has not come.

  2. Be in the present moment. Plan for the future, but live in the present. Sometimes you have to take it one hour or one minute at a time.

  3. Be gentle with yourself. You will get tired, impatient and cranky.

  4. Forgive yourself for negative thoughts, failures and for being human. Forgive your loved one for needing care.

  5. When you get a chance to have fun, enjoy it fully.

  6. Turn off the “what if” tape. Whatever is to come you will have the strength to cope, but you won’t have it ahead of time.

  7. Somehow find a few moments to pray and meditate. Spiritual comfort is vital.

  8. Use any available respite time. You and your patient will both benefit. You need sleep to function.

  9. Ask for help when you need it. There are stages in the process that may require more than you are able to give.

  10. Allow yourself to grieve the loss or anticipated loss. Feel the feelings, cry, write as needed and then go on.

Marissa Martin