Caregiver Contest Finalist Bud: From the Perspective of Someone Receiving Care

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
03/28/18  12:57 PM PST
Receiving Care

Bud M. is from California, 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?

At the young age of eighteen, I was injured and became paralyzed and have been so for the past thirty years. Throughout the years I have depended on several caregivers (some family and some not) every step of the way.

I’ve learned it is important to do regular reality checks and don’t push yourself too hard. Make lists, prioritize, and better establish effective daily routines. Remember to lighten up whenever you can. Caregivers need to take time out for themselves to relax and decompress. They must stay in touch with friends and family, exercise, and be socially active in ways that make them feel more connected and ease tension. Even if it is an hour or two, it is worth it. Remember, taking care of yourself is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

Express concerns and frustrations to family members and friends that can comfort you. It is completely okay for a caregiver to openly express their emotions without the feeling of shame or guilt. It can help you manage stress, locate helpful resources, and stay connected with others. Talk to a therapist, social worker, doctor or clergy member. They are trained to give advice on a wide range of physical and emotional issues. Use Respite Care Services. They can give you a temporary break. The help can range from a few hours of in-home care to a short stay in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Know that it is normal to have negative feelings such as anger and frustration. This does not mean you are a bad person or a bad caregiver.

All in all, there are millions of people throughout the world who rely on caregivers. While the experiences of each may not be the same, the gratitude and appreciation for every caregiver should be. In my experience, I have grown to appreciate caregivers and learned to help them as much as I can, since they do so much for me.

Click here to return 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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