New Year's is the perfect time for caregivers to review their circumstances for the upcoming months. Here is a collection of ten resolutions caregivers might want to add to their own list.
1. I won't do it alone. Ask for help when it is needed, and take help when it is offered.
2. I will make time for my own needs. This means allowing some privacy and alone-time, guilt-free.
3. I will eat sensibly and exercise. Prepare yourself something nutritious, and take the time to enjoy it. Exercise needn't be anything strenuous; a 20-minute walk, four times a week, can do wonders for both body and mind.
4. I will ask for advice from knowledgeable professionals. Don't rely on hearsay, especially in legal, financial, or medical matters.
5. I will organize my elder's financial, legal, and medical information. Put important documents in a safe spot that's easy for you to access.
6. I will keep a journal and try to write in it every day. Having a place where you can vent without being judged or having to worry about hurt feelings is well worth the price of a spiral-bound notebook.
7. I will arrange to have regular respite. The Caregiver Resource Center provides respite to elder-caregivers in Clinton County, free of charge. Imagine how you could spend a few worry-free hours each week!
8. I will make a list of what people can do to help. When someone says, "What can I do?" show them your list. It can be anything as simple as picking up the mail or folding laundry.
9. I will join a support group. The Caregiver Resource Center has a monthly support group for all non-paid caregivers.
10. I will remember that I am only human. And I can only do what I can do.
For the Caregiver Resource Center, call 565-4543 or 565-4625.
The Senior Connection is a column provided by the Clinton County Office for the Aging. For more information about services for senior citizens, contact their office at 135 Margaret St., Suite 105, Plattsburgh or call them at 565-4620.