Let us take a moment to reflect on this past year. The role of a family caregiver may entail making choices and decisions regarding the care of your loved one and making adjustments in your lifestyle to assure your loved one receives quality care. Some of you had to make a decision to quit your job, take an early retirement, decrease your work schedule to part time, put your degree on hold, move your love one into your home, or place them into a day program or nursing home. Some of you had to take time off from work because of unpredictable or multiple hospitalizations, falls in or outside of their home, unsafe wandering behavior or death of your loved one. You may have experienced an illness or disability yourself. Sometimes things happen in our lives that can never be explained or understood. However, love conquers it all. Ultimately, the decisions and choices you had to make were not easy and were made with intense thought and consideration.
Let us take time out to pray for those attempting to get through a difficult seasons in their lives. With the help of God, answered prayers and the support of family and friends YOU DID IT! You are more than a conqueror, you are a survivor, and you are God's gift to the world.
Let us begin 2019 with an attitude of gratitude of things to come, an expectation of victory and hope for tomorrow. Embrace the knowledge about available resources for you and your loved one. Ask, seek and accept help. Take on the role of a caregivers' advocate and educate those family caregivers in need of support. Inform your doctor, pastor, employer, and healthcare policy makers about your role as a family caregiver and make clear the support that is needed to assist you through your daily challenges and caregivers' journey. Be good to yourself and trust your instincts. 2019 will be a year that you are empowered with knowledge to make wiser choices and decisions that will bring forth a sense of balance to your life.
Taking care of you: Taking care of yourself is not luxury; it is a necessity. If your health is compromised it is hard for you to be an effective caregiver. Your life is hard enough. For your own sake, and your loved one's, take good care of you.