(This is a chapter from my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.)
Because caregiving for a family member can be so intense, it is important to take little breaks or an occasional oasis from care-giving. Both in October of 2009 and 2010 my husband and I went away for a few days to the WI Dells with my son’s family. My son’s family went to get lengths, including taking out the back seat of their van to accommodate my husband’s mobility equipment or a special chair.
We also always enjoyed our Thursday nights suppers at my son’s family’s home. As long as I was able with my husband’s deteriorating health, I also took occasional substitute teaching days and I helped my daughter-in-law with home schooling our local granddaughters on Wednesday mornings. I further sang in church choir and attended woman’s Sunday school.
In addition to this I attended some concerts with a group of ladies. About a half a year before my husband died I hired a CNA to help me a few nights a week, so I could attend these occasional concerts. I found when I had these little breaks from care-giving, I was better able to keep things in perspective and keep my spirits up.
Dear caregiver, care-giving for a loved one is so intense and stressful that it is important that you find an occasional oasis from your care-giving. If you can not leave your loved one alone even for brief periods of time, bring in someone else to stay with your loved one from time to time. Also, plan and make a little oasis or spot in your home where you can retreat and regroup. Finally, I found I needed to rise earlier than my husband every morning to spend time with the Lord in prayer and Scripture reading. Finding these moments of oasis are essential to your emotional and spiritual well being, dear caregiver.
(As a PS someone recently sent me a money love gift so that in her words, "others may also receive your book." So I am offering a complimentary free copy of my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers, to the first two people who e-mail me telling me a bit of your story and your mailing address. My e-mail address to contact me is firstname.lastname@example.org )