Welcome to 2018! While everyone is feeling the rush of the new year and setting good intentions. If you’re a caregiver, your priorities are a little bit different because they involve the care of someone else. So we have given you some resolutions that are made for you, the caregiver, to make 2018 your most fulfilling year yet.
Resolution 1: Write a personal mission statement for the year. Writing a mission statement for the year is a good way to stay focused on what’s really important for you to remember or do as a caregiver.
Resolution 2: Learn to take a break. Notice we said learn. We know it’s hard for caregivers to take breaks. But learning some ways that you can is a good first step.
Resolution 3: Get moving. Even if it’s a small activity like walking with your loved one. Take a bit of time to get active.
Resolution 4: Eat smart. We know caregivers might not have the time to grocery shop or make meals every night. But to help with that you can use food delivery services or look up quick healthy recipes online.
Resolution 5: Be more social. You need other people to prevent caregiver isolation. Even if it’s something small like asking a friend to tag along while you’re running errands or going to an art gallery while your love-one is at a doctor’s appointment. Find some time to get involved with other people.
Resolution 6: Plan ahead. Try to plan ahead as much as possible. Making sure all of your loved-one’s paperwork and making sure there is a care plan in place will make your life easier.
Resolution 7: Tackle stress. As soon as you find yourself becoming stressed out, acknowledge it. Whether it’s taking two minutes to breathe or taking some time to yourself. Try to eliminate your stress.
Resolution 8: Capture memories. As a caregiver, dealing with the very inevitable possibility of death can be hard. But capturing some memories like recording a conversation with your loved-one could help when that tragic time comes.
Resolution 9: Investigate options. It will more than likely come a time when you might have to plan for professional care. Research options and the finances that will be needed beforehand so you’ll be better prepared.
Resolution 10: Increase safety for your parents. As your loved-one gets older they are more prone to accidents. It may be good to reroute cables and cord or even look into medical alert bracelets.
Resolution 11: Get organized. Whether it’s your loved-one’s closet or even their medical information. Make a list of things that need better organization then make a plan to organize at least one a month.
Resolution 12: Create a family calendar. This is a good way to keep up with events and things you have to do. You can even create an electronic one that is accessible from any device.
Resolution 13: Ask for help. This is hard for a lot of caregivers, but this is crucial for making caregiving better for you and your loved-one. You can’t do it alone so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Resolution 14: Sleep. As a caregiver, you have so many responsibilities that sleep is the last thing on your mind. But getting more sleep will improve your overall health and happiness. Start by setting your bedtime 15 minutes earlier than usual then add another 15 minutes and so on until you’re getting 7-8 hours of sleep.
Resolution 15: Spend more quality time with your loved one. As a family caregiver you’re so busy taking care of your loved-one’s needs that you’re not spending quality time together. So your relationship doesn’t dissolve into just monotonous tasks, try to plan a fun activity with your loved-one once a week.
Resolution 16: Reach out to family. For a lot of caregivers, family members may have become distant. Try reaching out to them and letting them know how your loved-one is doing. Maybe this will inspire them to come around and help more often.
Resolution 17: Seek Help from other caregivers. Only other caregivers understand what you’re going through. Try joining a support group or even connect to a caregiver LifeGuide to get some advice or to vent.
Resolution 18: Accept offers of help. As hard as it may be accept help when it’s offered. Also suggesting specific things people can do to help will probably make it easier for you to accept.
Resolution 19: Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors. As a caregiver, you’re in constant contact with doctors. Instead of accepting whatever they say, make sure to try to understand them better so you can make sure your loved-one is getting the best care.
Resolution 20: Pay attention to your body. Start to pay attention when you’re not feeling like yourself. A lot of caregivers suffer from depression and don’t know it.
Resolution 21. Be open to new technologies that can help you care for your loved one. There are many products that your loved-one can use and also you as the caregiver that can make your job easier. Don’t be afraid to try something new in your routine.
Resolution 22: Get an outlet. Whether it’s doing puzzles, playing games or even just going for a walk. Get an outlet for yourself to help deal with the struggles of caregiving.
Resolution 23: Make sure legal documents are in order. You never know what can happen so make sure your loved one’s legal documents are in order and easy to reach.
Resolution 24: Live in the Moment. You can’t control every moment. The only thing that matters is what you’re doing in the present. Appreciate what you’re doing for your loved-one in the moment and your days will go a lot better.
Resolution 25: Set realistic goals. You’re only human. So set goals that you can reach and that are measurable so you can know when you have accomplished something while caregiving.
Resolution 26: Celebrate your wins. Make it a habit to celebrate when something goes right or when you have a good day. It could be something as small as being happy your loved-one didn’t give you a hard time while getting dressed.
Resolution 27: Stop beating yourself up. Remember you are doing your absolute best. Caregiving is already a thankless job so don’t get down on yourself when you’re giving your loved-one the best of yourself.
Resolution 28: Carry a list. It helps to feel accomplished if you make and carry a list. That way when you accomplish something you can cross it off. It also helps to keep up with the things you need to do.
Resolution 29: Try to stay positive. No matter what may be going on, keep a positive outlook. When your positive and happy that energy can only transfer to your loved-one.
Resolution 30: Be Nonjudgmental. Try not to be nonjudgemental. Your loved-one may be going through a bad spell and unfortunately, you may catch the brunt of it. Try to remember they can’t control what’s happening to them. Don’t hold what they may say or do against them.