This morning, I was lucky enough to participate in an amazing virtual conference for family caregivers called IMPACT80.
Denise Brown from Caregiving.com identified a starting point that will resonate with every caregiver: Preventing Regrets in the Caregiving Journey. Denise shared her personal fear - that she would be mean to her parents...that she would have a bad day and be short or sharp with her parents and then, they would die. Denise would be left with regrets. Everyone will have a different fear that might lead to a lifetime of regret. Denise offered these ten tips for family caregivers:
1) Make a BACKUP PLAN. Intensive planning and backup strategies will relieve stress.
2) Keep an OPEN MIND. When our efforts have a bad outcome and we receive feedback about how to carry out our care differently next time, take that feedback with an open mind. After all, we don't want to make the same mistakes over and over again.
3) Maintain a FORGIVING HEART. When family or friends let you down, forgive them. Harboring resentment can be toxic.
4) Nurture and practice HONEST COMMUNICATION. Be honest about your skills and capacities. Be honest with others, too, about their skills and capacities.
5) Always say 'THANK YOU'. Practice gratefulness throughout the day. Gratefulness brings contentment and happiness.
6) Make sure that you have a SENSE OF ADVENTURE.
7) Maintain and practice a SENSE OF HUMOR. Especially when things go wrong!
8) Take TIME ALONE.
9) Nurture a positive, HEALTHY PERSPECTIVE. Make sure that you practice positive self-talk everyday.
10) The BEST RESOURCE FOR A FAMILY CAREGIVER IS ANOTHER FAMILY CAREGIVER. Connect in person and online for information, support and sharing.