August - How to get away!

Last month, I encouraged all caregivers to take some time off and get away for at least a day or two. I would like to follow-up on that and give some practical ‘how-to’ suggestions. If you have not already done so, create an emergency folder with the following:

  1. Legal documents: Power of Attorney...Health Care POA...Living Will
  2. Phone Numbers: Location where you will be staying...Your cell number...Your loved ones Medical Doctor/Dentist/Preferred Hospital...Power Company...Clergy...Funeral Home
  3. Prepare food/meals that are easy to heat up or arrange for someone to come and assist at meal times.
  4. Prepare medicine in individualized containers and mark clearly the day and time to be taken.
  5. Turn off alarm clocks you may have set – (this from a friend whose parents could not figure out how to silence them!)
  6. Have laundry done and clean clothes available.
  7. Depending on their level of self-care, you may want to ask someone to come and physically stay with your loved one or at least come and check on them once or twice a day. (Give them a key to the house!)
  8. CLEARLY explain to your loved one when and where you are going and when you will return.
  9. Set up a calendar with large numbers and mark your vacation.
  10. If you still are unsure, check with an assisted living facility as they frequently will provide Respite Care for a week or more.

Above all, pray and vacate!  You need the time away to re-charge and renew your desire to fulfill the responsibilities God has given you to honor and care for your loved one!

                   

 

Caregiver Freedom

Our country is celebrating another Independence Day and our nation’s freedoms. We are free to worship when and where we want, free to bear arms, free to vote, free to pay taxes.  

As caregivers, do we have freedom? No and Yes!

No – We do not have the freedom to go on vacation anytime we want. We do not have the freedom to run to the store for the latest sales. We do not have freedom to take our children or grandchildren to see the beautiful fireworks displays after dark.  

Yes We do have the freedom to not worry if we go on vacation.  I remember leaving for a couple of hours and half-way to the neighboring town I suddenly began to stress…Why am I leaving? What if something happens to my dad while I am gone?  I should turn around and go home.  I pulled to the side of the road and immediately, I remembered the verse “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8.) I took a few deep breaths and realized what is true is that my father was in great care with my husband (a physician). It was a very lovely day and I was about to enjoy a shopping trip.

Vacations for a caregiver take even more planning than the normal family planning. We have two options, hire someone/someplace or ask a family member to stay with our loved one. We need the mental break to enable us to continue our job of Caregiving.  Do not be too proud to ask for help.

Think about it, pray about it and allow the Lord to work in your heart and the hearts of others. Celebrate HIS freedom for you!

Vacation!?

School is out, summer hot weather is here and your job as a caregiver goes on with the added joy of more family.  Do you embrace this new season?  It is vital for you as the caregiver to look for someone or someplace for your loved one to stay while you go on a much needed vacation!  A vacation can be either a day or a week or more! The important point is to take a break!  Many assisted living complexes have Respite Care for anyone needing care while their primary caregiver is away.  A vacation will benefit you as the caregiver, but also the one for whom you are caring.

 

Thought for this month: The days are long, but the years are short!