Incomplete January Newsletter Released
My apologies, an incomplete version of the Top Tips newsletter was released this weekend. Please disregard it and read this version.
Nothing like the flu to make me consider our common humanity. As I stretched like a wet noodle the length of my couch, I thought about my plans for the week and knew I had to let go. What was right in that moment and for the next few days was to rest, get better and not spread my germs to others.
I'm a great one for imagining that I'm the boss of everything. The great lesson of an illness whether it's your own or that of a family member is the reminder of what exactly you are and are not the boss of.
You are not the boss of the person you are caring for. I know considering that you may be making all sorts of decisions and taking care of all sorts of tasks that you may seem like the boss of the person you are taking care of. There may be times when you have to override the wishes of your family member to make sure that he is safe. Even with all that said, your family member, at the heart of things, drives your decision making. In your busyness remember that the essence of your family member's values and beliefs should govern the decisions you make and the actions you take on her behalf.
You are not the boss of your caregiving situation. Now I'm not saying this to take away your power. There is a lot that you are the boss of that I will get to in the next paragraphs yet there is a lot about your situation that you cannot control. Illness or aging has taken center stage in your family member's life and your life. It's important to ask yourself regularly what you are trying to control. I've seen caregivers break their hearts trying to control the course of a serious illness and even stop death.
Ok now let's talk about what you are the boss of.
You are the boss of your feelings. You can choose the feelings and how you react to what is happening around you. Do your best to put a gap between your reaction and a difficult situation. That small gap may be all you need to take a new attitude toward what is happening right now. At those time when you find yourself stuck in a negative loop of feeling, pause and shift consciously to a slightly better feeling. It takes time and practice to stay in tune with your feelings and shift gears. Over time you will feel the benefits.
You are the boss of your commitments and schedule. This may be the most controversial thing I'm saying in this newsletter. With the multiple demands and needs of the person you are caring for, your other family responsibilities, your career and more, you don't have much choice or time in your schedule. To gain more flexibility, be thoughtful about what you say yes to. Find ways to leverage yourself by carefully considering what requires your personal attention and what you can delegate to someone else. Do your upmost to stay organized and maintain proper records when caring for your relative so you do not waste time looking for information. Most importantly ask for help early and often.
Will you join me in taking a step down from the boss of everything? By looking more clearly at what you and cannot control, you give yourself more control and more power in a difficult situation.
Exciting Changes to Eldercare Coaching in 2010
Just a quick note about upcoming changes to Eldercare Coaching for 2010.
Email coaching; Idea filled workbooks; Audio eldercare lessons for one low monthly price.
Change to "It Takes a Village Support Calls"
Starting in January, the calls will have a theme and education presentation for about 1/2 hour at the beginning of the call followed by open discussion.
Is it Time to Discuss Your Eldercare Challenges with an Expert?
Have your caregiving responsibilities left you stressed, angry or feeling guilty?
Do you suspect that your family member needs help and don't know where to start?
Whether you are an experienced caregiver verging on burnout or a new caregiver who is not sure how to help a family member, you can benefit from Eldercare Coaching.
To experience what's it's like to have an expert in your corner providing advice and resources
tailored to your unique situation,
click here to schedule a no cost 30 minute consultation.
Won't You Join Us At Our January Events?
Wednesday, January 13, 7pm PST
Our first free teleclass/group discussion of 2010
Our topic will be "Building your Care Team"
Long term caregiving requires a care team.
Who should be part of your team.
How to keep team members engaged and active.
We will have a 20 minute presentation followed by discussion, questions and support.
Call in number: (712) 432-0175
Pin number: 196932#
To register for this event, please reply to this email.