Saturday, July 30, 2022

Caregiver Tips


In my last blog post we discussed how stressful family care-giving can become.  It can affect the caregiver physically, emotionally and mentally.  If you did not read that last blog post and would like to read it now, click on the link below.  

In this week's blog post we are going to suggest some valuable tips for managing family caregiver stress.  These tips are  suggested by the Caring Bridge site online.  Since stress is often very real for a family caregiver, the caregiver often feels frustrated and exhausted.  Hopefully, these tips will be helpful.

These tips include eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising.  These three things are so basic, but they are easy to neglect when taking care of someone else.  They are necessary to the well-being of both the caregiver and the person who needs care, however.  A caregiver cannot take care of someone else, if she or he is not taking care of herself or himself.

Other tips include completing small tasks one at a time to regain a sense of control when life become chaotic, taking quiet time for oneself, having a healthy dose of laughter and spending quality time with others whenever possible.  At the same time a caregiver need to know how to say, "no." to requests and outside responsibilities.  Family caregivers have enough on their plate.  They do not need to add other responsibilities to their "to do" list.

Family caregivers can further benefit from journaling.  When I was caring for my first husband I benefitted much from journaling and writing down my feelings as part of a support group online.  Also engaging in activities once enjoyed and finding relaxing things to do is so helpful to a family caregiver.  Even doing something like coloring has been found to be beneficial in calming stress.   (Yes, there are adult coloring books available out there for adults!)  It is so vital for a caregiver to not neglect his or her own medical needs as well and to also know when to ask for and accept help.  Caregivers need to take care of themselves in order to take care of others effectively!

Finally, a caregiver needs to take time for prayer, reading Scripture, and developing a relationship of dependence on the Lord,  This is the most important thing a family caregiver can do.  This is true not only for family caregivers but for all of us. We need to trust in the Lord, and leave our burdens at His feet.  We need to take one step at a time, trusting the Lord to lead us through the difficult and stressful moments.

Here are some caregiver assistance groups suggested by Caring Bridge:

AARP (1-888) 687-2277
Family Caregiver Alliance (1-800) 445-8106 (954) 893-0550
Caregiver Action Network (202) 454 3970
Rosalyn Carter Institute for Caregiving (229) 928-1234
Well Spouse Association (1-800) 838-0879

Friday, July 22, 2022

Caregiver Stress


Family care-giving can be one of the most stressful jobs possible.  It is often life changing in its dimension and demands.  As a caregiver in my volunteer job, I know there are huge rewards gained in giving oneself in the care for others.  This can be true for family caregivers as well.  The difference for family caregivers, however, is that they are sometimes with their family members 24/7.  There are also many over-layers and deep personal connections with the person for whom they are caring as a family caregiver.  This causes emotional and physical stress which has the potential to cause health problems down the road for the caregiver.

Caring Bridge is a wonderful site online which allows people with health issues to write about their health issues in order to keep a number of people updated as to what is currently transpiring in their changing health situation.  My sister, who has been fighting cancer, uses that site regularly.  Recently for some reason I was offered a free e-book from the organization which established the Caring Bridge site,  The e-book notes signs of  family caregiver stress and tips for handling the stress.  I plan to share some of these signs of caregiver stress with you on my blog post this week.  In another post I will list ways they suggest to cope with caregiver stress.

Physical signs they list which could suggest caregiver stress overload include constant fatigue, frequent headaches or other bodily aches.  It could also involve rapid weight loss or gain or abuse of medications.  Emotional signs of too much caregiver stress can include such things as moodiness, irritation, anger, hopelessness, and sadness.  Sometimes family caregivers also lose interest in previously enjoyed activities and hobbies and feel lonely and isolated from other people.  

The long term effects of family care-giving can further cause mental issues such as short-term memory loss, anxiety, and depression which can weaken the immune system and increase the risk for chronic disease in the caregiver.  Besides the constant need for alertness and being on task in the role of being a family caregiver, caregiver stress is often complicated by financial strain, relationship role changes brought about by the illness of a family member, and the lack of rest for the caregiver.

As I said previously in this post, I will share some practical tips for dealing with caregiver stress suggested by the Caring Bridge e-book in an upcoming blog post.  Today let me end with a Bible verse going through my mind, as I write this post.  Jesus says to you and I in Matthew 11:28-30 in the New Testament of the Bible, "Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  

Life is difficult.  Family care-giving is difficult.  Yet in the measure we can give the worries and anxieties to the Lord, not fret, and yoke ourselves to Him; the burdens are eased.  The Lord wants us to leave our anxieties with Him and rest in Him.  Then our burdens become lighter.  He is carrying the heavy load for us.  He knows what He is doing.  We just have to trust Him.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Broken So We Glow


Sometimes we have to be broken by care-giving challenges, sickness, or a host of other possible trials in order to glow like the broken heart above in the picture.  Recently a Facebook friend posted something on her status.  I thought it was pretty profound.  I decided to post it here on my blog.  You will find it below.  I believe it speaks for itself.  

I was in Dollar Tree last night, and there was a lady and two kids behind me in the LONG line. One was a big kid, and the other one was a toddler. The bigger one had a pack of glow sticks, and the toddler was screaming for them. The Mom opened the pack and gave him one which stopped his tears. He walked around with it smiling; but then the bigger boy took it, and the toddler started screaming again. Just as the Mom was about to fuss, the older child bent the glow stick and handed it back to the toddler. As we walked outside at the same time, the toddler noticed that the stick was now glowing; and his brother said, "I had to break it so that you could get the full effect from it."
I almost ran, because l could hear God saying to me, "I had to break you to show you why I created you. You had to go through it so you could fulfill your purpose."
That precious child was happy just swinging that "unbroken" glow stick around in the air, because he didn't understand what it was created to do - which was "glow".
There are some people who will be content just "being," but some of us are chosen... we have to be "broken."
We have to get sick.
We have to lose a job.
We go through a divorce.
We have to bury our spouse, parents, best friend, or our child...
In those moments of desperation, We were broken. But... when the breaking is done, then we will be able to see the reason for which we were created. So when you see us glowing, just know that we have been broken
Copied and Pasted!
Copied from Robert Wilson

Saturday, July 2, 2022



July 4th is Independence Day in the United States.  It is the birthday of our country, and it represents freedom.  I am thankful for the freedom of speech and worship that I have as a United States citizen.  What is even more important, however, is my freedom in Christ that I experience as His child.

Freedom in Christ includes freedom from the penalty and power of our sins.

Freedom in Christ includes freedom from fear in spite of adverse circumstances.

Freedom in Christ is freedom from self and selfish willful ways when we are trusting in the Lord.

Freedom in Christ involves joyful service to others.

Freedom in Christ involves knowing the truth of God's Word which sets one free.

Freedom in Christ means serving the Lord.

Freedom in Christ means I can come to Him anytime with my needs.

Freedom in Christ means the ability to live in a joyful relationship with the Lord.   

Psalm 18:19 says,  "He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me."   What a wonderful freedom we find in the Lord!  Praise Him name for that!