Navigating Epilepsy: The Road Ahead

Caring for others also means caring for yourself!

Father and mother holding child's handThrough my work at NEREG I have come across so many dedicated and wonderful caretakers selflessly caring for loved ones living with epilepsy. I have also met many grateful patients who only wish their caretakers knew how much they were appreciated. These same patients are also very aware that their caretakers need to make themselves a priority so this month let’s focus on how we can help take some of the added stress off of the caretakers.
Take time for yourself –I know you have heard this many times before and “how can we fit it into our already busy day?” is usually the response I get from the caretakers. My suggestion is that you do it at the same time. Both the patient and the caretaker can benefit from 20 minutes of reflection. There have been a number of blog posts on mindfulness live dealer, if each of you attempted to do an exercise at the same time it may be a good opportunity for both of you to benefit from the practice?
Ask for help- When it comes to caring for family many people believe that there is no one who can do it better then family, and this may be the case for most but there are times we all need help. If there are friends/family members who offer to help out- why not take them up on the offer? Or if nursing hours are an option why not utilize the assistance?
Find support –TAARP reports that over 44 million Americans are caregivers for a loved one—so you are definitely not alone! Find a support group either locally or online to help answer the questions you face and let you know what to expect. Having that group to lean on can significantly decrease the stress of wondering what to do next.
No matter how much we may want to believe that we can “do it all” it is impossible to manage caring for yourself and others with no assistance. So please, if you are a caretaker, take a few moments to take care of yourself, I am sure those you care for will appreciate it as well!

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