Beth Witrogen, a Pulitzer Prize–nominated journalist, speaker, and author of Caregiving: The Spiritual Journey of Love, Loss, and Renewal, shares her experiences and insights on coping as a caregiver.
Visit www.witrogen.com for more information.
Accept that this is a life passage. Viewing it in this way versus a punishment or a mistake allows you to grow into a larger role.
Tap into calming. Try meditation and prayer. Whatever grounds you will keep you centered, so a good diet, good friends, nourishing activities, and most of all watching negative projections and self-criticism are great tools for health.
Manage your time. It’s important not to neglect your other relationships. Prioritize duties and delegate where you can. Often the legal, medical, or financial duties can be assigned to other family members who may live farther away, or elder-care services can be hired or volunteers brought in through the local Area Agency on Aging.
Stay positive. By setting boundaries and finding our own place of stillness within, our loved ones don’t feel they are a burden to us, which helps relieve their stress.
Know that you are not alone. There are many support groups available; join one. See “Online Resources” and “Coachella Valley Caregiver Support Groups” for some options.
Visit goo.gl/pgZ5oi for a full Q&A with Beth Witrogen.
Alzheimer’s Association: www.alz.org;
24-hour telephone support: 800-272-3900
American Association of Retired Persons: www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving
A Place for Mom: www.aplaceformom.com
California Department of Aging: www.aging.ca.gov
Caregiver Action Network: caregiveraction.org
Department of Health and Human Services: www.eldercare.gov
Eisenhower Medical Center Five Star Club: www.emc.org
Family Caregiver Alliance: caregiver.org
Lotsa Helping Hands: www.lotsahelpinghands.com
Medicare Caregiver Resources: www.medicare.gov/campaigns/caregiver/caregiver.html
Mizell Senior Center: mizell.org
National Alliance for Caregiving: www.caregiving.org
National Council on Aging: www.ncoa.org
Riverside County Office on Aging: www.rcaging.org
Stroke Recovery Center: www.strokerecoverycenter.org