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The Caregivers Dilemma-TEDx Beacon Street 

 January 14, 2021

By  fouts

There are an estimated 60 million people in the United States at this moment caring for family or friends. Many don’t identify as caregivers, they’re just doing what has to be done for someone they care about. They may be thinking “this will be something I can do to help the person I care about and then we will all go back to life as normal”. That’s not often the case though. So if you are caring for someone who is ill, has memory issues, special needs, or something as “simple” as a broken bone?
You are a caregiver.

It’s possible that if you are in a longer-term caring role you’re not caring for that other person as well as you would like to be. Not on purpose, but because this stuff can be exhausting.

Think for a minute, who doesn’t know: someone who is:

  • A new parent who is burned out and exhausted by the long hours and focused attention a newborn needs, even in the best of circumstances?
  • A child whose parent or sibling is suffering from dementia, Parkinson’s or Alzheimers?
  • Friends or family who are neuro-diverse or had an accident?
  • Someone whose family member was in a nursing facility or hospital during the pandemic?

There’s a loooong list of reasons we become caregivers, and a lot of fears and stress that go with the role of caregiving aren’t there?

So often the caregiver finds themselves isolated, depressed, and fearful they won’t be able to do it. Their personal health begins to suffer and that’s when mistakes happen. Not from thoughtlessness or neglect, but from exhaustion. Caregiving can produce a vicious circle full of self-judgment, anger, frustration, and sadness, which doesn’t help anyone.

What can a caregiver do for self-care?

I wrote When Life Hits the Fan, A Mindful Guide to Caring for Yourself While Caring for Others to offer guidance to caregivers in many situations. I interviewed scores of caregivers to understand their situations and offer tips to take care of themselves while caring for loved ones, and that book led to me as a speaker giving a TEDX talk for TEDX Beacon Hill called The Caregivers Dilemma.

Please watch the video and let these tips help you in whatever role you find yourself in life. Sooner or later we are all will either become a caregiver or care for someone else. It’s a whole lot easier with a mindful approach to self-care!

Talk to me
If you’re struggling with self-care, or you work with an organization that would be interested in hosting a workshop or discussion on self-care for the caregiver, reach out. I’ve been there and I can help.


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