Thursday, March 17, 2016

Suuuure, You Can Do It Allllll!!!!

“Be kind to yourself and don’t take on the guilt. Just do your best…and remember you can’t do it all.” Caregiver Christine H., 

I’m sure you know I’m being facetious when I say you can do it all. Christine’s thought above is the best, most basic message you can learn in your caregiver journey. 

I keep thinking that one of the things we as caregivers should do is make T-shirts, pajamas, and nightgowns for our loved ones with Christine’s quote on the front. That way, at night when we leave over to kiss them goodnight, or in a care center when we hug and kiss them goodbye, the message is one of the last things we see when we leave them.

You may think I’m over-stating this, but if you put that message somewhere near you so you see it frequently, it will become part of your conciousness.

You’ll get through this caregiving experience, even though at times it seems you won’t. But, your ability to carry on and come out the other end reasonably whole will depend on how well you care for yourself.

As my mother used to say, “You take care of you.”

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Djeat? Well, did you?

“Djeat?” is a Southern question, it’s one we’re asked by grandmothers, mothers, aunts, and friends within a few minutes of walking in the house. It means, “Did you eat?” As Southerners, food is so much more than just nourishment; it’s support, friendship, love…a whole range of positive feelings.
So, if I ask you, as a caregiver, “Djeat?I’m broadly asking, “Are you taking care of yourself?”
But, in this short message let me be more focused. Are you taking care of yourself nutritionally? Caregivers are terrible about eating right in order to maintain their energy levels. We’ll grab a snack instead of a meal, or snack constantly, or miss a meal because we’ve got all these other things we have to do. 
As I keep telling caregivers, if you don’t take care of yourself you won’t be able to take care of others.
So, Djeat?