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Are No Perfect Solutions
By Sefra Kobrin Pitzele
Every caregiver needs a break, but relief is often limited, Here are some suggestions which may help:
1. Can a friend or relative relieve you for a few hours one or two days each week? In this way, you can have a well-earned break from the daily rigors of caregiving.
2. Do you or your loved one, have the financial resources to hire a caregiver for a few hours each day? Neighbors and senior citizens are good at this job, and the added income is welcome. If you can't pay, perhaps you can barter for services. "I'll bake you three loaves of bread for every two hours you fill in with me."
3. Can you arrange for extra help from any social service agency in your community?
4. Have you considered trading afternoons with someone else who is providing care too? The care may be similar, but the emotional cost is different.
5. Have you found a coping or support group for caregivers?
6. What about assigning some time, once a week, to other relatives, so that you have time to take some time for yourself.
7. Try to keep yourself interested in something, Develop new hobbies and interests. You don't want to stagnate intellectually.
8. Develop a back up plan. In the event that you need to get away for awhile or become ill yourself, who can be called in the event of an emergency? Form a list now of people who are willing to fill in if a crisis or illness should happen.
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