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Caring for the caregiver
Hello to our our amazing caregivers on the site. You don't need me to tell you how difficult caregiving can be. Of course we don't think twice about doing it but sometimes it can come at a cost to our own physical and mental health if we don't find ways to care for ourselves.

Thought I would share this link from cancer.ca on Taking care of you: the caregiver

Does anyone have any tips for self care or resources that have worked for you to share ?

Lianne
7 Replies
Brighty
6765 Posts
Hi Lianne_Moderator‍ . Well I always thought self care was selfish until I saw my social worker. He said self care is crucial . You can't take care of anyone if you are worn out . The key to that is asking for help. If you have others in your corner to help out,you have more time to devote to self care. Self care doesn't have to mean anything glamorous....just the basics with a little fun here and there. Basics first.... eat,sleep hygiene exercize. Then get stuff done you need to get done for yourself too. Don't neglect your own needs,your own appointments and your own health in the process . Keep routines and do mundane tasks just to keep a bit of normalcy going. Treat yourself, you deserve it. Get that dairy queen blizzard. ...ya..... I always manage to throw dairy queen in somehow ...but go for it. Why not??? You deserve a treat now and then. And most importantly don't keep all emotions and feelings bottled up inside yourself. Let them out,cry ,scream, ....and lean on others for support. Let someone wipe your tears ,make you laugh, or just listen to you . You will go through so many emotions. It's not something anyone should have to do alone.
S2020
256 Posts
Self-care is always important, especially for caregivers. What’s that saying? “Can’t pour from an empty cup.” I hope I am not mistakenly using it out of context, but it sounds applicable to caregivers. For all you caregivers, I hope you make time for yourselves this long weekend. 🌸
Sourdough
1 Posts
I'm a type 1 diabetic. What does that have to do with cancer care? Bear with me.
Diabetes, like caner, is unique to the individual. We tend to be our own caregivers too.
Several years ago I was determined to get my"numbers" into the "perfect" range.
Well there is no such thing as perfect and my over zealous self-care came at a high cost. I burned out, went on short-term disability, went into deep depression, and finally retired early from my stressful job.
Now, I'm a caregiver again. A cancer caregiver to my wife of 21 years as she battles with stage 3 endometrial cancer.
A few months earlier my best friend for 50 years was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer..
Heed Brighty words's
Take time for yourself.
Fresh air, sunshine, a short walk. These little breaks can keep you from breaking.
Been there, done that.
Back there again, not doing that again.
If you are running on empty you can not give.
Reach out. We can't give if you won't receive.
Help us help you. Be a good receiver
Brighty
6765 Posts
Sourdough‍ welcome! I'm sorry you find yourself walking down this painful path again. ...but at least now you know what to do and what not to do. Continue to post here and reach out as needed.
S2020‍ - that is a perfect context for that. If we are not healthy, we have nothing in the tank in order to help others.

Sourdough‍ taking on the caregiver role to your wife may have felt daunting after what you experienced with yourself and looking after you. I bet you have a much better balance this go around that will serve both of you in the best possible way. Thank you for showing both sides of the coin. Wishing you and your wife as you go through her treatment together. I am very sorry for the loss of your friend.

Take care
Lianne
FunnyBunny
29 Posts
Curious to hear what has helped you (the caregiver). My Dad is Mum's primary care giver although she does get home care a few times a week. Dad is on compassion leave from work for 7 months now until Mum passes. I visit as often as I can (I'm in Edmonton; they are in Abbotsford) and lately it's been monthly. I know Mum is nearing the end. I noticed Dad hasn't showered and I don't think he does anything to care for himself anymore. He takes our family dog for walks every day. That is his only self care. Father's Day is coming up and nothing seems quite suitable or good enough for the guy who has single-handedly held my Mom together and the family. Any ideas on something I can do as a gift for his wellness? Given covid and the risk of certain things I feel my options are limited. He can't leave Mum for too toooo long (often an hour at a time at most for groceries/errands/dog walks). Something that may have helped you take a moment of reprieve....
Hello FunnyBunny

Do your parents have a trusted friend or family member that can sit with your mom for the day while your dad gets out to do something he enjoys? Perhaps lunch or golf or fishing with a friend?

It is often hard for a caregiver to get time for themselves, sometimes even if they can, they may feel guilty for finding some pleasure for themselves even for a brief time.

Keeping you in my thoughts

Lianne
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