New Year's Resolutions for the Caregiver:
Resolution #1: I must rest. I must take the time each day to remove myself from the situations that stress me and make me tired, and I must do so safely.
Resolution #2: I must ask for help. I must not feel guilty for this. I know my friends and loved ones would want to assist. And for me to rest, I will have to ask for help.
Resolution #3: I must adopt a healthy lifestyle. I will attempt to get physical exercise every day if possible, if even for a few minutes. I will make healthy food choices, and I will not abuse alcohol or drugs. I will schedule and keep regular visits with my healthcare provider.
Resolution #4: I will take care of my spiritual health. I will feed my inner self through meditation, prayer, silence, reading, the arts, or in other ways I consider true. I will seek wise and professional council if needed.
Resolution #5: I will take care of my emotional health. I will not walk this road alone. I will share my story with others. I will seek their advice. I will continue to enjoy hobbies and explore new ones that interest me. I will seek professional help if needed.
Resolution #6: I will educate myself about the disease that is affecting my care partner. I will investigate accepted care giver resources and attempt to follow recommendations.
Resolution #7: I will find humor in living each day. I will not feel guilty about laughing, even when times are bad. I will try and laugh with my care partner.
Resolution #8: I will continue to see my care partner as a vital person, and validate him daily. I will look past the disease that is affecting him and into his heart and soul. I will love him in the moment, in the now, just as he is. I may grieve at times, but I will honor the person he continues to be and my relationship with him.
Resolution #9: I will see myself as a hero and value my gift of caregiving. Heroes are human and have faults and weakness. But heroes draw upon a silent strength and overcome. Often, the most heroic thing I can do is to say, "I will wake up tomorrow and try my best."
Resolution #10: I will clasp the hand of my care partner and the hands of other caregivers, lifting both mine and theirs in triumph over the disease that seeks to steal. I will give back to them, and to myself, our humanity.