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10 Caregiver Tips for a Better, Brighter New Year

It’s hard to believe another year has passed, isn’t it? Have you made your list of resolutions yet? If not, maybe we can help. Last year, we put out a list of 10 meaningful New Year’s resolutions for caregivers. We’ve updated our list for 2018. Here are some great resolutions to give you a good start in the new year.

  1. If you haven’t already, start a journal. Journals are a great way to release your thoughts and feelings. By putting them down on paper it can be easier to gain a sense of control.
  2. Carve out 2 hours per week to do something all by yourself. It could be taking in a movie, shopping, getting a massage. That “me” time is so important.
  3. Start a hobby that you can do while caregiving. There are lots of hobbies that are rewarding and can have a calming effect. Knitting, photo journaling, painting and sketching can all be done with your loved one nearby. He or she may even be able to join in.
  4. Attend a dementia support group. Being among other caregivers in a supportive environment is so important. No one understands your situation better than others who are living it themselves. Structured sessions that are conducted by a certified professional tend to have the best results.
  5. Take up yoga and/or meditation. Few can disagree that one of the best ways to relax and re-charge is through slow, peaceful, spiritual mind and body movement. This can be done in a group setting or through online sessions. Carve out at least 20 minutes each day for the best results.

And here are 5 more of our best, taken from last year (with sources referenced)…

  1. Perform one random act of kindness for a fellow caregiver (from Alzheimer’s Music Connect)
  2. Thank yourself in case no one else does. Even if they don’t say it out loud, they are probably thinking it and know how fortunate they are to have you caring for them. (from Senior Corner)
  3. Resolve to grow your circle of care. Too often, caregiving responsibilities fall disproportionately upon the shoulders of one member of the family (in this case, you). As the new year begins, try to bring other family members into your circle of care. Ask them for help. (from Caring Kind)
  4. Use a local respite program to give yourself a break. (from Daily Caring)
  5. When you feel that you are imperfect, remember that guilt is not an option, as long as you know you did the best you could with the knowledge you had. (from AgingCare)

A fresh new year brings with it the promise of a better year. As a caregiver, you hold a very important position in your family. You deserve as much tender, loving care as you can get. Be sure, as you give so unselfishly of yourself, that you don’t forget to give to yourself!