These Caregiver Tips were emailed to me by Cameron Von St. James who is a caregiver for his wife. He wrote:
"My name is Cameron Von St. James and I was thrown into the role of caregiver when my wife, Heather, was diagnosed with a very rare and deadly cancer called mesothelioma. It was just three months after the birth of our only child. We were initially told that she could have less than 15 months to live, but she was able to defy the odds and eventually beat the cancer. During her treatment, I had to learn quickly to be an effective caregiver, and there were many times when I became overwhelmed by the role. Together, we managed to fight through it. "
Caregiving is the same regardless of whether your loved one is battling cancer or coming back from a stroke. It's a good list and no caregivers I've asked have been able to add to it. The only thing I can add is don't think what the doctors tell you is set in stone. They often underestimate the power of the human spirit.
- Accept all offers of help
- Take time for yourself
- Make your own health a priority
- Know your limits
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends, family or even strangers if you feel overwhelmed
- Be clear and direct when asking for help
- Become an expert on the condition – Learn all you can
- Make lists
- Get organized
- Join a support group
- Talk to other caregivers
- Make use of technology
- Ask questions
- Carry a notebook everywhere
- Make use of any and all resources available to you
- Know your employment/compensation rights
- Try to maintain a normal schedule
- Always hold on to Hope!
Here are links to their blogs: