I did a wonderful Time Out for Caregiver workshop with 51 amazing Parkinson’s caregivers, sponsored by the Parkinson Society BC on May 25th. We not only discussed how to be a resilience caregiver (see post HERE), but also some self-care strategies.
• Find ways to sustain yourself. You are like lifesaving equipment… you don’t want it to burnout!
• While no one has the time or energy to do everything for everybody, find the time to do things that are most important to you. By establishing priorities, the most important needs are met and tasks are done.
• Set boundaries and decided what you are able and willing to do as a caregiver. By setting limits and standing behind them, you can help reduce guilt.
• Act from love, not debt. Think of caregiving as one person helping another out of love.
• Celebrate the small steps, accomplishments and victories!
• Take an active role. Develop new skills/attitude – be assertive (or get an advocate)! Learn about PD, treatment options, ask questions, be involved! Ask for help, ask for second opinions, plan for your future, together. Know your options and make some decisions together.
• Take breaks. Do stuff that inspires you, excites you and truly de-stresses you.
• Talk, without judgment. No advice, feedback, just listening.
• Don’t let the disease define you. Remember that you are more than PD and are still the individuals you were before the diagnosis; but respect each others experience with PD… the PWP and CG have different experiences with PD and try and respect each others feeling/decisions etc.
… are there 1 or 2 of these you could put into action to help you live better as a Parkinson’s caregiver? much love.
Parkinson Society Canada/British Columbia
National Parkinson Foundation
Parkinson’s Disease Foundation
Kripalu Centre for Healthy Living
Susan Impke FNP GNP
Alexis Abramson, PhD