When Caregivers Need Care

Posted December 1st, 2008 by Site Administrator in Uncategorized (No Comments »)

 As you are faced with the unthinkable prospect of losing a loved one, you are likely overcome by so much emotion you can no longer function properly. Every moment is spent attempting to prepare for, and waiting for, someone to die. You want be near that person because you don’t know how much time is left and you don’t want to miss anything. Every breath is precious. While this is completely normal and understandable, you must find some ways, however small, to take time to care for yourself. Here are some simple things you can do: Talk to someone who will just listen. You don’t need advice, sympathy or commiseration as much as you need someone to just listen to your feelings of fear, anger and sadness. This may not be a family member or close friend. There are many professional resources your hospice can share with you if you are in need of counseling. Use them. Keep a journal. Write down what you’re feeling, experiencing and seeing in your loved one’s final days. If they are still verbal, keep a log of the things they’ve said. Attempt to record what you can. This may not make sense now but you are too tired and overwrought to remember anything. And you may want to remember this time and those last conversations, later when you’ve had time to grieve. Stop trying to prepare for the end. Many people attempt to imagine what life will be like without someone they love or work to emotionally distance themselves from that person in the hopes of easing the agony of their death. This is futile and will not ease the terrible pain of that person’s absence. It also wastes precious energy that could be spent living in the here and now with someone whose time is limited. Be kind to yourself. There is no handbook to prepare for the death of someone integral to our lives. You will be angry, impatient, and sometimes unkind and unsure. You may feel self-involved and selfish or guilty about what you’re unable to get accomplished. This is common and not your fault. Cope as best you can and lean on others as much as you can.

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