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Tips For Taking Care of an Ill Loved One

Bruce Willis' wife, Emma, talked about the importance of caring for yourself while caring for a spouse's health. She is so right that it is crucial to find ways to prioritize your health and well-being. It is not easy because your whole life centers around the person in need of extra care and love. I wanted to share some things I learned while caring for Robert when he was diagnosed with cancer.

10 Tips for taking care of a loved one

1. Ask for help and build a support team. That meant asking my mother to fly from California to Georgia to care for my home. She was also responsible for taking care of me when I could leave the hospital for a few hours. It also meant asking my son to sit with my husband for 2-4 hours each day so I could shower, eat and catch a deep-sleep nap. It meant asking my daughter to help coordinate food for the household.

2. Find a way to escape and have some time to yourself. This is important to help you be your best self when dealing with doctors, nurses, or loved ones. You don't want to be living on the edge of exhaustion and stress.

3. Turn off electronics and find something else to do with your mind. Knit, read, draw, or do crossword puzzles.

4. Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water. Put down those high caffeine drinks. You need to be able to rest at a moment's notice. When they sleep, you sleep or rest. End of the story, this is not the time to clean, cook or visit. Build a team that can help with those things.

5. Let people help you. This is not the time to worry about a messy kitchen or an unmade bed. Let people help you clean, cook, or do errands. They want to help, and letting them help you is a blessing for you and them.

6. Eat, throw out the diet idea, but eat healthily. If you stay at the hospital with them, think about some healthy snack options. Have someone from your support team pack you a daily snack lunch box to have on hand at the hospital.

7. Things to take to the hospital for you, the caregiver. Toothbrush, brush, a few basic cosmetics, a change of clothes, deodorant, something besides your phone, a charger for your phone, snacks, bottled water, and a small first aid kit that includes band-aids, ointments, vitamins, aspirin, Tylenol and handi-wipes.

8. Create a call chain. I wish I had done this. Have the one person you call who makes all the other calls for you. If you have a large group, you can have the one person you call person number 2, and they have the list divided between them of who to call.

9. Cry. It's okay to cry when someone is out of the room for tests or you have gone home. It is a lot to take, and it is okay to have a weak moment.

10. Say I love you a lot to everyone.

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Life on Faith and Fumes

Christian blog with stories, devotional and bible studies.

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