A family helping families throughout Columbia, Lexington and the Midlands.

New Year Resolution’s…for the CareGiver.

Who can believe it, but 2014 is upon us. With the ringing in of the New Year there is the ever-expected New Year’s resolutions that everyone makes. These lists of good habits to pick up as you enter 2014 do not have to be a burden you place upon yourself entering into 2014.shutterstock_62795851

The first question to answer is why even both with New Year resolutions? Many simply drop the habits within the first few weeks of the New Year or do not find themselves with the time to accomplish what they had hoped they would. Well, New Year’s resolutions do not have to be a rigid set of rules that cannot be bended or changed. In fact, the definition of resolution is “a firm decision to adjust original plans.” (dictionary.com) Therefore, you can simply make a decision to live a better life to benefit both yourself and the seniors in your life you tend to on a day to day basis.

Here are five tips for CareGivers to consider:

Tip #1 Take the time to thank you in case no one else does.

While there may be numerous people who are thankful for you and your services, they may either be incapable of doing so or forgetful to say, “thank you” every once in a while. It is a habit that is easy to forget to tell someone you appreciate them. Take the time to give yourself a pat on the back every now and then. Know you are doing something remarkable by being a Caregiver and realize how appreciative the individual or others are of your service; even if they do not express it.

Tip #2 Get your flu shot! You would be regretful if you got sick!

Getting sick is also something you cannot afford as a caregiver. Not only in regards to having to take time off work, but exposing your senior citizen to these germs could prove fatal if they were to also get sick. The flu shot is readily available at not only your doctor’s office, but also any pharmacy such as CVS or Walgreens.In the prime of the flu season following the holidays, it is vital that you are protected.

Tip #3 Maintain a balance between your family, work and care-giving lives.

It is not just a cliché statement, but balance is key to a successful and happy life. All your responsibilities (family, work and care-giving) are equally important. It is important that you balance your life so that not one area is lacking in your presence. As a flawed human being, you obviously will make some mistakes along the way of giving more to one area over another. However, you should strive to find balance. Have family meals several times a week or plan activities for the day you are off.Take the time to give your family your undivided attention during the “family hours” and provide the same attention to your client during work hours. You will fill more satisfied and fulfilled when you maintain balance.

Tip #4 Deal with emotions of anger, confusion, frustration and talk with others who can help you.

Whether this listening ear comes from a friend, spouse or professional, it is okay to seek help. There are many stresses that come along with any job, especially when this job is being a CareGiver. This stress may not only be mental but can also be physical or emotional. Talking about any issues you face inwardly, can help improve your overall demeanor. If you have an overall positive demeanor, then your work and personal life will be better overall.

Tip #5 Stay positive-you are making a difference!

The results may not be immediate or ever blatantly seen, but that does not mean they are not felt. It can be draining the day-to-day task of being a CareGiver. When this weighs you down you need to remind yourself that all you can give is your best. This is good enough. This effort also is changing the life of another person because you are aiding in his or her quality of life. Give yourself credit for that.

Remember that these resolutions can also be simply a lifestyle choice. This does not mean that they are something to weigh you down, but add clarity to your life as you head into 2014.

(This blogpost was written with the aid of seniorcarecorner.com)