It's really hard when you're the caregiver to your husband or wife, because you really can't take a day off.
So what do you do when the flu strikes? It's not an easy thing to deal with, but there are some things that might help. Some are proactive, things you can do now.
- Keep your spouse involved in self-care for as long as possible. The more the patient can reliably do for him-or-herself, the less of a burden it will be when your energy and ability is limited.
- Keep your spouse involved in household chores as possible. Some patients will push to play their role in the household, while others will relax into a dependent role before it's situationally necessary. The latter should be forestalled, for the practical reason that their best efforts may be needed, and for the caregiving reason that premature dependency is a true morale-killer.
- Write stuff down. You may be able to remember medication schedules, for instance, but at the time you need to call in outside help you may not be able to communicate them effectively.
- Have an emergency reserve. Make sure you keep a week's supply of food and meds on hand. And have some cash available, if you need a friend or neighbour to shop for you.
- Don't be ashamed to ask for help. If the patient no longer drives, and you're too sick to get the groceries or prescriptions, have a list ready of people whose assistance you can request. Ditto for help in the home; if you need it, you need it, so this is yet another reason for caregivers to maintain their own life, and their own friendships. There's nothing so precious as a friend who will come into your house and change a soiled adult diaper without complaint, when you just can't.
- Be careful of exposure. Your spouse may have a drastically compromised immune system, so if you have something that can be highly contagious, take precautions. It may hurt not to kiss your husband or wife goodnight, but it's better than leaving him or her with a life-threatening illness.
- Have an emergency plan. If you have to be hospitalized, is your spouse well enough to be left alone, with a friend to check in regularly? Or will you need a place that can provide the level of care needed, anything from a friend's house to a temporary stay in a care facility. It's too late to organize this when you've just called the paramedics because you're too sick to move.
What have I missed? What can you add?
I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.
Marley update...he's probably going to be moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.
WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!
He's up over 200,000 signatures, but PLEASE keep the pressure on. If you haven't signed, please do! Please click o his name in the paragraph below.
If you have a moment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.
If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.
Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.