If you’re like me, every December you get a ton of free advice about what should be on your list of New Year’s resolutions ranging from the obvious to the impossible. Well, here’s mine.
I hope these are different from some of the other recommendations you’re getting in that these are resolutions I am making myself and that they begin from where we are. So, there is no pass/fail as long as we make progress.
In 2018, let’s make an extra effort to focus on what our clients and loved ones CAN do and never regret what they once did. We can acknowledge the limitations of our loved ones, caring partners, clients and even our colleagues without measuring them against the perfect. Perfect generally is not in our futures.
Before we can give care, we need to take care. I have been a Family Caregiver and, although now most of my time is focused on the operations of a large organization, the principle remains the same. We all need to be physically strong and mentally clear, and recharged spiritually to meet our obligations to the people who depend on us. When we feel better we enjoy our service that much more. That means making time for ourselves and for the other important people in our lives.
Regardless of how long (or how well) any of us has been doing our jobs, constant improvement should be a goal for all of us. For Home Helpers Caregivers, we offer comprehensive training before our people ever are assigned to the families they support, enhanced by regular updates to include new best practices. Family Caregivers can benefit from keeping up on the latest research and recommendations from sites like alz.org and by seeking out other Caregiver communities online or in real-life to share tips and get support.
If you’re a Caregiver, it doesn’t matter what your particular faith tradition is. You are performing a great service and protecting the dignity of someone you love or another human being. In my tradition, that makes you a very special person, because you have a gift that someone else really needs. I believe you have been put in this position for a reason. More important, let’s all be grateful for the talents and abilities that let us continue to enjoy our own independence, even while we bolster and help simplify another’s.
Thank you for your service, and Happy New Year.
Christine Browning, R.N.
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