A Labor of Love

Practical Tips for Caregivers

Caregiving is one of the most rewarding yet challenging and sometimes thankless undertakings ever. Unfortunately, not everyone has been gifted with the level of patience, compassion and that special kind of love the demands of caregiving can dictate. 

The decision to be a caregiver should never be made from guilt, for financial gain or for any reason other than the well-being of one in your care.

It’s difficult watching a once strong, self-sufficient loved one, ravaged with Alzheimer’s or another illness that now causes them and you so much discomfort. Learning to accept their new normal also means accepting your own. That’s huge! 

One of the greatest stressors is thinking you’re the only one who occasionally has those (not so lovely) thoughts about your caregiving responsibilities. You aren’t alone. Frustration and burnout are real and when not properly addressed, they become ferocious enemies to our well-being. 

If caregiving is causing your physical and emotional health to fail or causes you to continuously feel extreme anger or sadness, it’s time to seek help. Ask for it!

Give tough love when it’s needed and let your loved one see you taking time for yourself on a regular basis. If you can’t leave, go to another part of the house just to exhale several times during the day. 

Reconsider any promise you may have made to never place your loved one in a facility—that’s a promise you could end up regretting. At some point, it may be the best option for them and you. As a caregiver you must make hard decisions that others won’t always like, not even you. 

Caregiving will always bring an abundance of uncertainty, but with preparation, finding good possibilities, keeping wisdom and prayer at the forefront, we can do it.

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