- You will get overwhelmed at times. Although the main focus might seem to be the incapacitated person’s well-being, there are a lot of other experiences and changes to process. If you are feeling like it’s too much, it probably is. Often, you will be taking on additional physical care, emotional support, household chores, financial management, insurance filings, coordination of benefits, medication monitoring, and more. That’s on a typical day, not one where a device breaks, power goes out, or something else unexpected happens. You didn’t do anything wrong. You’re probably doing an amazing job, especially under the circumstances you’ve been given.
- It’s okay to ask for help. Even if it seems you are expected to do all the above on your own, you don’t have to. You might need to make sure these tasks are done well, but it’s okay to take advantage of community resources, loved ones’ offers, and medical or other support—for the incapacitated person or yourself. There are some tasks others will be better at anyway, so lighten your load when you can. You’ll end up being happier and of greater service to the person you’re caring for.
- It’s okay to need a break. You might be caring for someone who is terminally ill and be afraid to leave their side, but the painful reality is that the person you are caring for is not going to be with you forever. If your entire life revolves primarily around them, you will be lost when they are gone. They don’t truly want that for you, regardless of how tightly they might cling at times. You need to make sure you are maintaining a life you want to keep living when they no longer need you. Make sure you are socializing outside of your caregiving. Take long weekends off and go on vacation. Give the person you are caring for some variety, too.
Read the entire article, and the tips from others here: 23 Tips for New Caregivers
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Nance L. Schick, Esq., is a workplace attorney, ethno-religious mediator, and conflict resolution coach based in New York City. Her goal is to keep you out of court and build your conflict resolution skills so everyone has a better work experience. She helps managers and business owners have empowering conversations about emotionally-charged issues such as gender, race, religion, and disability. She is creator of the Third Ear Conflict Resolution process, author of DIY Conflict Resolution, and an award-winning entrepreneur acknowledged by Super Lawyers (ADR, 2018, 2019 & 2020), the New York Economic Development Corporation/B-Labs (Finalist, Best for NYC 2015 & 2016), U.S. Chamber of Commerce (2015 Blue Ribbon Small Business), Enterprising Women Magazine (Honorable Mention, 2014 Woman of the Year awards).