My husband and I have been preparing for the fierce, raging hurricane named Florence! By the time you read this article we all will be familiar with Florence. We will know who she is and we will see all that she has brought upon us. My husband and I are in the process of securing all outdoor furniture, we have purchased water, can goods, oil for our lamps, batteries, medicines, etc. We have all our vehicles filled up with gas and made sure our generator is up and running. We think we are all set. But by the time you read this article we may have not been fully prepared for what we are facing now. But we attempted to be as prepared as we could.
As caregivers we strive to prepare and if you have not prepared I encourage you to do so! I am referring to the storm of caregiving. There will be times of a violent disturbance in the midst of your caregiving role. You will have a disruption of healthy functioning, it will go from normal to abnormal very quickly. The winds of defeat will blow in and you will feel hopeless at times. I want to remind you of those three deep breaths, take them often.
I want to share a resource with you caregivers, it is “National Family Caregivers Association”, their website is www.nfcacares.org. Listed below are ten tips for Family Caregivers from this organization.
1. Caregiving is a job and respite is your earned right. Reward yourself with respite breaks often.
2. Watch out for signs of depression, and don’t delay in getting professional help when you need it.
3. When people offer to help, accept the offer and suggest specific things that they can do.
4. Educate yourself about your loved one’s condition and how to communicate effectively with
5. There’s a difference between caring and doing. Be open to technologies and ideas that promote your loved one’s independence.
6. Trust your instincts. Most of the time they’ll lead you in the right direction.
7. Grieve for your losses, and then allow yourself to dream new dreams.
8. Stand up for your rights as a caregiver and a citizen.
9. Seek support from other caregivers. There is great strength in knowing you are not alone.
10. Caregivers often do a lot of lifting, pushing and pulling. Be good to your back.
I was talking with my good friend Marie Faircloth this past Tuesday. She shared with me about her experience with hurricane “Hazel”. I was amazed with her detailed remembrance of that terrible storm. She further shared that during the storm she could feel her house shake, scared with her brothers and sisters they all remembered their mother praying for God to protect her family. Marie was about 13 years old and they had no idea what was coming, but she said together they made it. With the help of God, each other, family and friends they made it. With the help of God, family and friends you can survive the storm of being a caregiver. Strive to be prepared for any storm!
Hope all is well with you and your family and friends! Hope you have a “Best Day Ever”!
Lesia Henderson is an aging specialist for the Sampson County Department of Aging.