Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks!

Topic: Caregivers Must Adjust for Self-Sake

A lot of individuals take care of a friend or family member with a serious health condition. Caregiving is a labor of love, but it can also be hectic and demanding. How to be an effective caregiver while also taking care of yourself will always be the revolving action item.

We know it requires planning on the part of the caregiver. We know we must keep our care recipients in focus. We also know all plans do not end the way they are imagined. How we perform everyday activities can change and we have to be able to make adjustments to accommodate the events before us. When this happens, self-care should be the next stop to adjusting to the new norm of that day.

This is a common issue when caregiving. This means being proactive and flexible will always be the most important aspect of the caregiving environment. In spite of our best efforts, planning ahead is hard because you never know how situations and needs might change. Everyone has a different situation, making self-care vital in the caregiving world. Health challenges are different. How you manage diabetes may be entirely different from handling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a chronic inflammatory lung disease. Managing blood sugar numbers is very different from managing oxygen saturation, however, let us be clear, both require urgent attention should life-altering conditions erupt. Knowledge and action are both required in these situations. After they are over, you must rest your mind, body, and spirit, because tomorrow will be a new day. As Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, if you’re a caregiver for an aging loved one, take care of yourself. Caregivers, you are angels on earth, and you are valued. Be well! Take care!

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Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman

Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman

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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.