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Caregiver Contest Finalist Barbara: Don’t Over-Schedule

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
09/17/18  1:45 PM PST

Barbara B. is from Washington, and was one of forty finalists chosen out of the over 1,000 entries to our “What Advice Would You Give to a Fellow Caregiver?” Contest. You can find our grand prize and runner up winners here.

What advice would you give a fellow caregiver?

Some days (or most days?!) you will not get *everything* done, and that’s OK! We often set impossible standards for ourselves. I soon found that I needed to learn how to set priorities. Now, each week, I review everything that needs to be done and prioritize the things that *must* be done: appointments, pharmacy pickups, phone calls, daily care, etc. Then, each day, I review what absolutely must be completed that day. I look to see whether I have tried to cram too much into one day and begin making adjustments to see what might possibly be moved to another day. Sometimes it is wise to spread some things out over more than one day; at other times, it is more efficient to schedule some things close together, being mindful of the energy levels of my client. Oh, and one more thing: don’t forget to schedule things like “down time” for your client as well as for you, the caregiver — that is, blocks of time that can be used for rest or art projects or just chatting online. And try to balance priorities and fun, such as scheduling a trip to Starbucks and the craft supply store on the same day as a doctor’s appointment that your client may not be looking forward to. And most of all, make room in your life for some sort of spiritual practice, which might be any activity from as structured as attending a church to something as spontaneous and informal as a short walk outdoors, taking in the wonder of nature, such as the incredible blue of a Steller’s jay or the powdery frosting of snow on a leaf. Caregiving is the hardest job you will ever undertake in your life. What they don’t tell you is that it can also be the most rewarding job as well, causing you to grow and enrich your life in ways you never dreamed possible! Learning balance and priority-setting can go a long way towards not only avoiding burnout, but also giving you the rich and joyful rewards of the world’s most challenging job!

Click here to head to the contest home page and read more advice.

Finalists were selected by the Marketing Team at Shield HealthCare. Those finalists were submitted to a panel of independent judges who picked three grand prize winners and five runners up. The judges included: Sandra Mitchell, Award-winning KCAL 9 news anchor and breast cancer survivor, and the Landers family: actor and comedian David Landers (“Laverne & Shirley”) who is living with MS, his wife Kathy and his daughter Natalie (“The Middle”). Click here to learn more.


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