Mar 30, 2015

We Are Meant to Fly

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"We, like the birds, are meant to fly and sing -- that's all -- and all of our plans and schemes are twigs of nest that, once outgrown, we leave." Mark Nepo

As humans, we do have plans and schemes.  How many plans and schemes have you left because of caregiving?   I closed a psychological practice to provide 24/7 care for my loved one, and then I opened it again to offset the expense when it was necessary for him to be cared for in a longterm care facility.  I did not plan to do either of those things.  Each of us, who are caregivers, give up some things to accommodate doing other things.  Let's just make sure we are not giving up things that are critical to us. 

Mar 29, 2015

Perseverance and Options

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"The key to perseverance is having enough patience to keep trying options until we get what we want."    Rev Dr Judy Morley

Considering one's options is an important element of good mental health.  A wise therapist many years ago told me that to be practicing good mental health, one should always consider at least 3 options in any given scenario.  If one way does not work, try another.  A social skill I used to teach and later published within a book on social skills was to try another way, if the way one tried did not work out.  Try another way.  How can this apply to caregiving?  I think we must have the time to have the clarity of mind to consider if there is any other, better way to do any aspect of caregiving.  If something is stressful and/or not working, consider how else it might be done.

Mar 28, 2015

Friendships

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Friendships are so important in life.  I think we literally cannot get through life unscathed without some true friends, with whom to share the journey.  Who can you count on to have your back?  Who can you count on to listen, hold sacred what you tell them, and not judge you?  If I have 2-4 people like that in my life, and I do, I feel blessed.  This blog is intended to be, not only a source of reliable information, but a support to any of us who are caregiving.  Caregiving, by its very nature, is isolating.  Let's be sure we have some true friends to support us during this time.

Mar 27, 2015

Making the Most of Each Moment

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It is true.  We will not remember each moment of every day, but we will remember those memorable moments.  I was thinking today on my walk of a time when I looked down an aisle of seats, and my beautiful granddaughter was beaming back at me.  It so touched my heart.  I also have moments like that with my loved one.  On one of my last visits, I was sitting with him as he slept in bed.  He opened his eyes, and with clear lucidity said, "Hi, Sweetheart."  It so touched my heart.  When I am with him, I try to relive with him memorable moments we have shared.  

Mar 26, 2015

Increasing Our Balance

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""If you can maintain a minute standing on one foot, your're doing pretty well with balance."
Erin Smith, Wellness Director

Becoming wobbly is one of the things that accompanies getting older.  To offset that, and to prevent falls, one of the best practices is standing on one foot.  I can do that pretty well with shoes on, but with my high arch and instep, which causes pronation, I tend to wobble trying to stand on one foot without shoes.  With or without shoes, while brushing our teeth, watching tv, or on the phone, we can practice standing on first one foot and then the other -- to improve our balance.  

Mar 25, 2015

Meditation

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Dr. Oz says that meditation reduces stress, refreshes the body and makes it easier to sort out tasks and thoughts, lowers blood pressure, relieves anxiety and depression and can ease pain and increase mobility.  If for no other reason, these reasons would be enough to encourage us to meditate.  Dr. Oz suggests the website sharecare.com for help with meditation, if you are new to the practice. I try to meditate every day.  It is what helps me be centered, serene, positive and efficient.   

Mar 24, 2015

Social Relationships

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I have a tendency to isolate myself when overwhelmed.  How do you cope with being overwhelmed by caregiving and all the tasks that make up one's life?  Good friends are one antidote, and - being an introvert - I tend for a few, very close friends to a large number of acquaintances.  To help me cope, I choose friends who talk about positive matters - even when talking about serious matters, who support me, who listen, who laugh, who have fun.   What do you look for in friendships?