Welcome to week #2 of my nine week countdown of the caregivers’ bill of rights discussed in Jo Horne’s book Caregiving: Helping An Aging Loved One. It’s just one little dose of caregiver support after another around here. I LOVE it!
Last week I revealed that you have the right to take care of yourself. Yup — that’s right, people. We’re talking earth-shattering news here.
For those of you still feeling a bit lightheaded from that big announcement, it might be best to take a seat for a few moments as you read this next one…
Right #2: I have the right to seek help from others even though my relatives may object. I recognize the limits of my own endurance and strength.
Want to know what the most important word is in those two sentences?
That’s because the help you need isn’t likely to come knocking on your door. As is the case with so many other things in life, to find it you’ll have to get out there.
So what kind of help should you seek?
Since everyone’s different, I can’t say for sure. But I can help you to help yourself in figuring it out…
Pay attention to the parts of caregiving that are causing you the most stress. Are they physical, emotional, financial? All of the above?
Okay then. It’s time for a little game I like to call “Perfect World”. To win you only have to answer two questions.
Question #1: In a perfect world, what would help to reduce the stress you’ve just identified?
Question #2: If the answer to question #1 isn’t possible right now, what can you substitute?
If this exercise is tough for you, keep at it and don’t give up. Difficulty (at least in this context) means you’re onto something.
And your strength and endurance (in other words — your well-being for the caregiving journey ahead) are worth every minute of the hunt.