My 10 Tips for Caregivers

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There are so many things I know now that I that I wish I knew at the beginning of this journey with Mike...

1. Don't overreact! - Listen to what you caree is saying about how they feel or what they think is going wrong with their health. Don't rush to a terrible conclusion.

2. Pay attention - Look for subtle changes. With Mike we deal a lot with wound care and recognizing the subtle changes can help prevent major infections etc.

3. Document - I have kept lists of medications, wound care dressings and taken pictures so that if we have to change doctors I can bring them up to speed

4. Educate - Read what you can about your caree's condition. Ask lots of questions of your attending physician. The more you know, the richer you are.

5. Don't feel the need to fix everything - Sometimes things are out of your control and the best you can do is just be in the moment without stressing over how you can make it all better.

6. Laugh - Don't check your sense of humour at the door. Remember to smile and crack jokes. I realize that sometimes it may not be a funny situation at the time, but humour can save you.

7. Love - Whatever your relation ship is with your caree, don't forget to show each other love. As caregivers we get so used to being in charge, but don't forget you may also be a parent, a spouse, a friend or a child.

8. Live - Life does go on and if you blink you can miss it. Do something for yourself or do something with your caree. Go to a concert, go for coffee, do something you thought you'd never do.

9. Stand your ground - If you feel like people aren't listening to what your caree needs, make them listen. Stand you ground for what you think is right and don't give in the the culture of 'I'm the doctor so I know what's best'

10. Give yourself a break - You care for your caree, you need to care for yourself. This might be as simple as watching a show you enjoy, having a quiet cup of coffee with yourself or out with friends without your caree or just being with yourself. You deserve it.

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