November is the month of gratitude, a time for thanking those we love and care about. It is also National Family Caregivers month and AARP has started an initiative to honor, support and say thank you to the 40 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S. Through Random Acts of Kindness, you can help a caregiver for a day or for a few hours by extending a helping hand. We hope you will do what you can.
It is fitting that Boomer Highway support this initiative as many caregivers are boomer women, often sandwiched between the needs of their parents and their own kids. Boomer Highway actually began as a way to help men and women like me who found themselves on the busy highway of caregiving for an aging parent and also helping children at their various stages of life. I am grateful to all my readers and to those of you who have shared your own caregiving stories.
You’ve heard me say this before, but a very wise woman once said to me when I was down about some things in my life: The best way to deal with that is to go out and help someone else. It’s a profound truth. So today I am celebrating the people I know who have done a random act of kindness so that a caregiver can get a breath.
When my mother was in Hospice, there was Edna–a woman even older than me who stopped in to see my mother on a regular basis. She would help her into her wheel chair and take her outside into the garden–because if there was one thing my mother loved it was feeling the sunshine on her hands and face. There was Debbie, Nuala and Bess who visited my mother, celebrated holidays with her, and always brought a gift–large or small it meant so much.
Volunteering in any way you can is an act of kindness. Whether it’s reading to the child of the caregiver, or taking the caregiver’s patient for a walk, preparing a meal for a family who is overloaded with caregiving duties, or taking over so the caregiver can get a haircut or keep a doctor’s appointment–whatever you can think of to do, you are making a difference and I celebrate you.
So let’s do this thing: WATCH HERE.
And for those reading this who are caregivers, here are a few suggestions for dealing with caregiver burnout:
Spend time in your cave: whatever that means, go off by yourself and read, write down your thoughts, listen to music, or just sleep. Make that time all about you.
Get a check-up: see your doctor and discuss the stress you are under, making sure you are not neglecting your own health.
Talk frequently to someone who gets you: sometimes it’s hard to find a soul mate who truly understands your particular stress and allows you to pour out your feelings of frustration and possibly anger, which you need to do.
Set up a schedule: if you are working full or part time and have various duties you perform as a caregiver, try to establish a routine. Routines can be calming.
Try to be prepared: this is the other side of routine as one of the major negatives of caregiving is the unexpected. The unexpected is part of caring for someone gravely ill or dying. Deal with wills, trusts, funeral arrangements etc NOW!
Remember, today you might be on top of the world–but there is always tomorrow. A random act of kindness is paying it forward. The support you give a caregiver will always be remembered and you will feel great.
“This is a sponsored post on behalf of Element Associates and Midlife Boulevard.”