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You and your loved one will appreciate someone different to talk to and look at! Don’t push family and friends away and tell them you are doing fine and don’t need their help. Even if you are doing fine at the moment, let them help anyway. Because after awhile they may not offer anymore. Sometimes, they don’t even realize that you do need help, and may not offer. Seek their help and make them a part of the caregiving. Caregiving is one of the most loving acts that anyone can ever do. You will grow and love more than you ever thought you could. Your family members deserve to experience this level of love as well. Don’t deprive them by not asking for help. If they are not accommodating, it is there loss. Government Agencies/Not-For-Profit Advocacy Groups and Agencies There are many programs available to caregivers from government agencies and notfor profit entities. The key is to learn how to navigate the system so that you can determine what help is available and then figure out how to get it. For more information on the wide array of services and programs available go to PolkElderCare.com where you will find a list of local agencies with phone numbers and links to websites. Churches and Synagogues During times of need there is no better place to find comfort than your church or synagogue. Religious organizations are perhaps one of the largest providers of help in your community. From spiritual and emotional guidance to volunteers that provide companionship, food, caregiver relief and sometimes even financial assistance, many of your needs as a caregiver can be found at local churches and synagogues. Call your church or synagogue to see what services are available. They, and you, will be glad you did. You can find phone numbers and websites in The Resources and Support section in back of this guide and even more detailed information on our website at PolkElderCare.com. RULE NUMBER 2 FOR BEING A GOOD CAREGIVER: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF Taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do not only for yourself, but for the one you are caring for as well. It is understandable that you might feel there is no way you can do what is suggested here because you “don’t have the time or you are just too tired.” But the reality is if you don’t take care of yourself, in the long run you won’t be able to properly care of your loved one either. Get Enough Sleep Sleep is a very important part to good health. Sleep when they sleep, even if it is sporadic, it is beneficial. Eat Right and Take Your Vitamins You have heard that before. Just like an athlete you must fuel your body with the right foods and nutrients in order to compete, and in your case, to provide care. Get Physical Exercise Find 30 minutes a day for some form of physical exercise. You may wonder how, as tired you are, you will find the strength to exercise. The fact is that moderate exercise will do wonders for giving you more energy, reducing stress and improving your overall health. Find some form of exercise that you like. Do not do something that you dread. You will end up quitting. Find an Activity Find something you like to do for enjoyment. Do anything that makes you happy. Reading, yoga, crosswords, gardening and crocheting are all great things to do by yourself at home while you are taking care of your loved one. You also need 54 www.PolkElderCare.com


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