COPD

Dad First, COPD Second
Dad First, COPD Second

Elizabeth provides support, insight and guidance for caregivers.

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Dedicated to Caretakers: "Take Care of Me Day"

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Blogger Elizabeth Santeramo dips her feet in the Atlantic Ocean at the New Jersey shoreAs the long holiday weekend approaches – and my birthday – it is important for me to slow down and do something fun for myself.

This past summer I made a point of taking quick take-care-of-me days on sporadic summer Saturdays. Going to different Jersey Shore points has helped me recharge even with celly on hand, just to make sure everything is “OK.”

I also:

  • Attend weekly support group meetings. I share about the challenges ahead and I leave relieved knowing that I can handle the pharmacy pick-ups, insurance calls or doctor follow-ups, tackling them one at a time.
  • Read my daily passages from self-help books.
  • Practice yoga for beginners. For 20 minutes in the morning and in the early evening, my space becomes a quiet sanctuary. I let go and breathe in new energy.
  • Explore meditation practices – inviting my parents along – to help quiet my mind as I balance a demanding schedule.

 

I found this great article with great adivice on ways to care for your body, mind and spirit.

I am convinced that if I do not take care of myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually, sooner or later ailments will catch up with me. The greatest gift self-help gives me is awareness. I need to talk about how I feel, allowing for a healthy outlet that will keep me in check. When I neglect myself, the results are immediate: irritability, upset stomach, and a weakened immune system.

Two friends of mine – within my age group – also care for their parents. Claudia, a close friend from high school, also lives with and cares for her mother as she battles emotional health issues, mostly resulting from the grief she is feeling from losing her inner circle: her husband and her parents. A home health aide assists but Claudia’s phone is always in hand. To express herself, Claudia has found a great outlet: she takes interesting scenic photographs and adds them to her online gallery.

My other friend, Peter, also has his parents living with him. His father has advanced prostate cancer and his mother deals with complications from diabetes. Being unemployed adds another level of stress, but he copes by riding his bike.

For all the caretakers out there, I hope you consider joining an online support group or one in your area. Visit my Facebook Caregiver Support page to share thoughts, ideas, and stories about how you cope with day-to-day stresses. 

 

Follow Elizabeth's story on Twitter: @lizunga

 

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About the Author

Elizabeth cares for her mother, a diabetic, and for her father, who suffers from COPD.

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