Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks

Topic: Caregivers: Flexibility and Safety is Key

Caregivers can feel like a slinky! I did!

Who has felt like a slinky as a caregiver? Be honest? I sure have! Have you heard the old Proverbial saying, if it can go wrong, it will go wrong? How about… any job worth doing is worth doing well. How about… put 100% effort into everything you do. How about…your mental approach to your job dictates the outcomes you’ll receive. How about…leave no stone unturned. What about…better safe than sorry. True words of wisdom, especially in the caregiving space. Flexibility and safety are a part of life, right?

Stop signs are planted on corners. Yellow lights scream caution. Brake lights are on cars to keep from getting hit from behind. Pads around playpens to keep babies safe. Handrails on stairs to prevent falls. Brakes on wheelchairs…you get the drift. I suppose you are asking… where is Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate going with this? I’m glad you asked?

On the caregiving journey, flexibility is required to maintain the safety of self and others. If I were to define flexibility…it would go like this…bend, but don’t break. A lot goes on when caring for someone. The overarching focus is safety. Your safety and the safety of every loved one.

Safety comes first in many issues of life. You might regret it later if you are reckless. So the best way to avoid being sorry is to be safe. Play it safe. Here are some safety tips I like to share. I am sure many are already known, but there is nothing like reminders from those who care.

1) Get your rest. Many safety errors occur when tired, not flexible, preoccupied, anxious, and distracted.

2) Plan your daily events, although, we know flexibility is the word of the day.

3) Keep walkways and stairwells clean and clear of clutter.

4) Ensure safety in the bathroom and the kitchen.

5) Loved one with diminished strength in hands should not use glassware, for they could drop and break them.

6) Keep shoes and socks(gripped)on for warmth and protection.

These are maybe common sense details, but the injuries would surprise you that have occurred from letting our guard down in the caregiving space is safe.

As Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, let us keep flexibility and safety in view. Be safe! Be well!

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Dr. Hickman is the author of From the Lens of Daughter, Nurse, and Caregiver: A Journey of Duty and Honor and The Black Book of Important for Caregivers.

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