Devotional Thoughts for Caregivers

Hope for the Caregiver Mon, Jun 22 2015

If you are looking for a book that will encourage both professional and family caregivers in their experiences, Rent-A-Daughter highly recommends the book Hope for the Caregiver: Encouraging Words to Strengthen Your Spirit by Peter Rosenberger. At the time of writing this book, Mr. Rosenberger has cared for his disabled wife for over 28 years, gaining vast amounts of experience in caregiving. He shares his insights, wisdom, experience, and even failures in this easy-to-read, uplifting collection of essays, offering to other caregivers what he wishes he could go back and tell himself before he started the caregiving journey.

Consider this excerpt of incredibly practical advice:

When the “turbulence of caregiving” hits, I’ve found three simple things that help me make healthy and positive decisions in high-stress moments: Wait, Water, Walk.

WAIT: Take a moment before responding. Regardless if the culprit is dementia, drugs, or just your loved one behaving badly, all types of “emotional tug-of-wars” seem to be happening simultaneously while caregiving. If you pick up the rope and involve yourself in a tug-of-war, one of two things will happen: You will win and end up on your rear, or you will lose and end up on your face.

Don’t pick up the rope! Simply wait before responding. Rarely do you have to apologize or make amends for something you didn’t say. Breathe slowly (inhale four seconds; exhale eight seconds), until you feel yourself growing calmer. Stress and anger are toxic for good decisions.

WATER: Drink some cool water. It will buy you time to think more clearly. Avoid sugary drinks or even coffee, and instead grab a bottle or glass of water. Your body needs water—your brain needs water. From high blood pressure to fatigue, water helps a myriad of issues. A tanked-up brain functions better. Drink to think!

WALK: Caregiving creates extreme stress, so when things are bouncing off the walls, take a few moments to put on some comfortable shoes and walk off some of that tension. By doing so, you are… getting better oxygen to your body and brain, and bleeding off anxiety. Walking immediately helps facilitate calmness. Settling yourself down allows you to bring your “A-Game” to the caregiving scenario.

Wait, Water, Walk costs little or nothing but can instantly help a caregiver make better decisions, calm down, and feel more at peace…. In doing so, the patient gets a healthier, confident, stronger, and more “self-controlled” caregiver who can provide leadership while offering love.

Rosenberger, Peter. Hope for the Caregiver: Encouraging Words to Strengthen Your Spirit, p. 29-31.

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