Camilla O. McRory, Attorney at Law

The Care-Giver’s Self-Care Reality Check

It is necessary:

To take care of myself. This is not an act of selfishness, even though it may feel like it. In the long run, it will give me the strength that my loved one needs in a caretaker.

To seek help from others, even though my loved one may object. I recognize the limits of my own endurance and I accept that I am not alone.

To maintain facets of my own life that do not include the person I care for, just as I would if he or she were healthy. I know that I do everything that I reasonably can for this person and that I have the need to do some things just for myself.

To get angry, be depressed, and express other difficult feelings occasionally.

To reject any attempt by my loved one (whether conscious or unconscious) to manipulate me through guilt, anger, or depression.

To take pride in what I am accomplishing and to applaud the courage it has sometimes taken to meet the needs of my loved one.

To protect both my own individuality and my ability to make a life for myself. Although this may not seem important now, it will be crucial when my loved one no longer needs my full-time help.

To remember every day that I need to set, and stick to, an appropriate pace for myself and not stretch beyond my limits

This is a marathon; not a sprint.