Caring for the Caregiver Part 3

06-10-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

For the past three weeks, we have been exploring some ideas of how 24/7 caregivers can work self-care time into their busy caregiving schedules. Several options have been presented including hiring professional caregivers, asking family and friends to visit the care receiver while the caregiver takes a break, and taking the loved one to an adult day care center.

If these three options are not feasible, the caregiver can consider incorporating self-care time and activities into his/her caregiving schedule. This may seem impossible at first glance, but can be done by using the care receiver's downtime as self- care time. Generally, a care receiver's downtime is when she/ he is sleeping or napping. If the care receiver is a late riser or goes to bed early, the caregiver can get up earlier and/or stay up later to capture some quiet "me" time. If the care receiver likes to nap during the day, the caregiver can also take advantage of those breaks. During the care receiver's downtime, the caregiver can engage in any fulfilling and renewing activity such as listening to music, meditating, reading, praying, working puzzles, arts and crafts, etc. that will not disturb the care receiver. While the caregiver is still technically engaged in caregiving, it is at a different level of involvement that provides the caregiver with an opportunity to slow down, take a few deep breaths, and re-energize.