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How I became a good care-giver.
Jim Broede
Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2012 4:52 PM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


I encourage my friends to put themselves first. To give top priority to their own physical, mental and spiritual health. In other words, to learn how to be one of the world's best care-givers. By caring for one's self. Because over the period of a lifetime, that'll makeĀ one more caring of others in one's life. Especially loved ones. Maybe I learned all that when I was my dear sweet wife Jeanne's care-giver during her 13-year seige with Alzheimer's. Jeanne died in 2007. I didn't debut as a good care-giver. But I ended up as a very good care-giver. Because I gradually learned how to take good care of myself. By getting adequate respite. I was an inadequate care-giver when I went at it 24/7. That left me exhausted. Mentally. Physically. Spiritually. For the sake of my own survival, I had to get daily respite. I put Jeanne into a nursing home. For 38 months. And I showed up daily. Didn't miss a single day. And I was with Jeanne generally 8 to 10 hours a day. Care-giving. I supplmented the care of the professional care-givers at the nursing home. With highly personalized care. With zest, love and passion. I learned to enjoy care-giving. And I was doing it the right way. Because I was rested. I went home by 10 o'clock every night. And I didn't return until late morning the next day. Jeanne thrived under those conditions. And so did I. I was able to give Jeanne daily romps outdoors in a custom-made wheelchair. Able to hand-feed her lunch and supper in the peaceful privacy of her room. Able to give her nightly, bedtime showers. Yes, able to do what a care-giver really should be doing. With loving fervor. Because I care-fully tended to my own physical, mental and spiritual health. --Jim