Most of us would say love, duty or obligation is what empowers family caregivers to provide care. All true, but more than what is most evident truly empowers and fuels us who are family caregivers . Knowledge of community services and benefits allows us to share the care – and then there is the acceptance of needing to have down time and use outside care options in order to renew and re-energize ourselves.
The knowledge that you are not alone keeps you from being isolated and that is why it is important to join a support group, attend community classes on family caregiving or to work with a professional who will help you with those boundaries. Eldercare offers monthly support groups and classes free to the public – because this is our way of giving back to the community.
A sense of humor is most needed when providing hours and hours of care to another. It is good to laugh together – find funny programs to watch or simply start the day off by reading the comics – you might read some aloud to someone you are caring for if they are appropriate. “Pickles” is always a good one!
Spiritual resources can strengthen your core and get you through those tense or tough times. It can come from being connected to religious practice or it can come by being in touch with nature. Everything, from prayer and meditation to a walk in the woods, can give you that peace you just can’t find in any other venue. We need down time so we can continue to care from a place of love and not just from obligation.
Struggling to find this empowerment? Consult with a Professional Geriatric Care Manager who can work with you in finding ways that re-energize your heart and soul – your health will also be benefited.