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Three Important Tips For Caregivers

Today Your Legal Corner will share "3 important tips for caregivers."

Someone once said, no matter what type of relationship you have with your mother, you will certainly miss her when she is gone. I can attest this statement is true. My mom and I did not have a loving relationship although we both loved each other very much. Ours was pretty much mom would say up and I would say down type of relationship.

Mom cared for four children, my grandmother for a time and worked as a registered nurse outside the home; rarely taking time for herself.

As we remember this Mother's Day, it is most important to remember that all caregivers should take the time to care for themselves in addition to others. Whether you are caring for small children, an ill spouse, or an elderly parent, make time for yourself.

Networking, relaxation and preparation are all examples of maintaining caregiver health and wellbeing. In fact, network, relax and prepare are the three most important tips for caregivers to follow.

1. Network

Caregivers should engage with others and reduce stress. Whether it is a quick phone call or an evening support group, connecting with others helps. Hospitals, religious organizations and county services will have information on caregiving support groups. The benefits of connecting with others are immeasurable.

2. Relax

Relaxations should be a priority when you are a caregiver. Relaxation will keep you healthy and minimize stress. Research shows that stress reduction techniques will improve a person's quality of life. Good examples of stress reduction techniques include yoga, meditation, deep breathing, massages, music and prayer.

It is easy to lose sight of your own wellbeing when caring for someone else. To be the best caregiver for your loved ones, you need to take good care of yourself. This means eat well, exercise, sleep and don't forget to include some form of relaxation in your daily routine.

3. Prepare

Prepare for the practical and prepare for the legal. It is the practical caregiver that has the well thought out care plan. Enlist help from others; don't wait for an unexpected event to have a care plan in place.

A care plan should include at least three legal documents: a will, a power of attorney and a living will for both the caregiver and the care receiver. Consider who would care for your loved one if you were no longer able. Create a journal of the type of care your loved one requires, listing likes, dislikes and any other particulars. Planning is key.

Do consult with an elder/estate attorney to address the legal issues of a care plan. Don't wait for the unexpected to occur.

So as we take the time to honor the ultimate caregiver... Mom...let us also remember to "care" for the caregiver!

Till next time, God bless, keep smiling, when Your Legal Corner will discuss "Graduation parties and social host responsibility."

Victoria M. Dalton is an attorney with the law firm of Hoffman DiMuzio.

For questions, contact Victoria at vdalton@hoffmandimuzio.com and be sure to Like us on Facebook!

Please note that Your Legal Corner was created to provide educational articles about the law and is not legal advice.

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