Self-Care is Vital Part II

Caregiving For All:  February 20, 2023, Del Larson, Certified Lay Minister 

° Eat healthy meals and get plenty of exercise.

I am doing all the cooking now, and sometimes it is easier to just make Mac & Cheese.  However, both you and your patient must eat healthy meals.  There are quick and easy healthy meals you can get, but make sure you are getting what you need.  As we age, we eat less, and it can become easier to just do a simple meal. Check with your doctor about seeing a nutritionist.  Don’t slip into snack foods all the time.   FYI: You had better sell any stock you have in Hershey’s, as I have stopped eating their dark chocolate bars because of the high levels of lead and cadmium.  I know, I’ve been eating it since I had teeth.  At your next blood draw, check your levels of these two hard metals.  Exercise is important until the very end.  If you are not ambulatory,  you can do many exercises from your chair or bed.  Check with your doctor or therapist about which are best for you.

°  Accept offers, or reach out to friends to reconnect.

When people ask you how your spouse is doing, be honest.  Sometimes when I am frustrated, I will say she is doing great, but I’m not worth a dime.  This will get their attention.   At this moment, my spouse is doing well in her situation, because we are well-planned.  However, I miss the interaction with old friends and people whom I spent time with.  We MUST be honest.  If they volunteer to help, accept it.  Have them run errands for you.  Have them sit with your care recipient, or just visit them so you have a break.  Go out to eat with old friends, while someone cooks for your patient.  Go to a game, or a movie, or visit friends.  I have noticed that I hear less from old friends that we were close to before the pandemic.  I try to call them, but it doesn’t usually work to meet up.  There are three reasons for that:

  1. We are all getting older and it is harder to get out.
  2. Covid threatened us, so we stay home.
  3. For some it is hard to visit someone who needs special care. Don’t be upset.  Deal with it. Educate them.  Make plans, invite them over, go yourself and visit them.  Many are great Facebook friends.  These are great relationships that can help both of you. Encourage any help you can get.  Don’t just say we are OK.  Accept the offers. Otherwise, put out a sign on Facebook.  Help needed!  I’m feeling overwhelmed and need someone who has time to visit my wife so I can go out to a game for some renewal. If your care recipient can be alone for a few hours, find someone to take you fishing.  It will get more difficult later to have time for yourself, so thank them and tell them how much you appreciate the encouragement.   Give credit to those who help you (family, friends, neighbors).  Remember, that God plays a  big hand in our success as a caregiver. We sometimes struggle with God, and why God is giving us this burden or causing this terrible disease.  Find someone you can talk to about your faith.  It is easy to blame God and turn away from God.   Message or call me.  I’ve battled God.  I have been angry as Hell with God.  There are many great books to read.  I have a great list of resources.   

I will have on this important topic shortly.  Take the time to digest these tips.  Put reminders on your calendar to call someone.  Plan to attend a concert, a movie, or a game even if it is by yourself.  Take the time for your healing.   In my next blog, I will share why it is good to Give Yourself Credit and Include Joy and Laughter in your life.

I appreciate hearing from you.  Positive or negative. My email is attached, or you can call the church and they will give you my number.

Feel free to respond, ask questions, or tell me what you think.

I hope that you can find one thing that will be helpful to you.  Email: