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Thank FULL for Caregivers

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
~ Leo Buscaglia

In This Issue

  • A Message From Shelley
  • Don't Just Take My Word for It
  • What's New
  • Did You Know?
  • Questions? We've Got Answers!

A Message from Shelley

Dear Friends,

How do you thank people who make it possible for you to live a normal life in spite of significant challenges? I try to answer that question every day of my life. I need lots and lots of help from the moment I open my eyes in the morning until I close them at night – everything from getting in and out of bed, dressing, positioning in my wheelchair, to driving my lift-equipped van. Who provides all the help I need? It’s an amazing combination of family members (my remarkable husband especially), my friends, neighbors, coworkers, acquaintances, and even strangers. Without these people, my life would be very different.

I’ve also learned to accept what people can offer. Maybe they do not do things exactly the same way I would. Does it really matter how something is done if the task is accomplished successfully? When asking for assistance, match the skills and interests with the right person. Some folks feel comfortable driving my van; others don’t. Some folks enjoy helping me prepare dinner; others would prefer to help me run errands.

But perhaps the most important thing to remember is to spread the help around. Enlarge your circle of support so that no one has complete responsibility for your care. When you do that, everyone wins!

Caregiving, whether full-time like a spouse, or casual like friends might provide, is hard work! It means giving of themselves for the benefit of someone else. This is admirable and appreciated, but not if it is at the expense of the caregiver. Just as those of us with a chronic illness get “tired” of living with our disease; caregivers can get tired of caring for someone with a chronic illness. To be a good caregiver, they need to be sure to take care of themselves first! See 9 Tips for Caring for the Caregiver for ideas on how to do that.

For all the sacrifices, my caregivers have made for me, I say THANK YOU! Though those words are woefully inadequate, I hope they express, in at least a small way, how very, very much I am thankFULL for you!

Who are you thankFULL for?

Shelley

Don't Just Take My Word for It

“The lessons this life has planted in my heart pertain more to caring than crops, more to Golden Rule than gold, more to the proper choice than to the popular choice."
~ Kirby Larson, Hattie Big Sky, 2006

“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community."
~ Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book

“It is only a poor sort of happiness that could ever come by caring very much about our own pleasures. We can only have the highest happiness such as goes along with being a great man, by having wide thoughts and much feeling for the rest of the world as well as ourselves."
~ George Eliot

What's New

Check out our newest Top Tips List
In honor of National Family Caregivers Month, we have posted 9 Tips for Caring for the Caregiver on our Website. If you or someone you know is caring for someone with a chronic illness or disability, these tips may help to make life easier. If you have any tips for the caregiver, email Shelley@MakingLifeEasier.com.

small meeting lifes challenges logo Did You Know?

Carry "Proof of Disability" with You
It is now required in most states that someone with a disability must provide “proof of disability” to use certain services or privileges, such as parking in a specially marked accessible parking stall. When you obtain certain vocational rehabilitation services or apply for a National Park Service pass or disabled parking card, you are required to have proof, in the form of a dated and signed doctor’s authorization, that you are disabled. In Wisconsin, when your parking pass is renewed, you again need to get your doctor’s signature, on the supporting materials that come with the card, and keep that proof in your vehicle or with your pass. Make it easier on yourself and make a copy of your doctor’s letter and carry it with you. Then if you are ever questioned about your right to services or privileges, you can prove your disability, on the spot.

For more information on how the Americans with Disabilities Act and the ADA Amendments Act affect you see the ADA section of our Website.

small meeting lifes challenges logo Questions? We've Got Answers?

Do you have questions you would like answered about living with a chronic illness? The staff of Meeting Life’s Challenges, all of whom have a chronic illness or disability, want to help. Please tell us what you want to know; e-mail any comments, questions, or suggestions to Shelley Peterman Schwarz at: Shelley@MakingLifeEasier.com We want to make your life easier!

©2011 Meeting Life’s Challenges, LLC         www.MakingLifeEasier.com
For reprint permission contact Shelley@MakingLifeEasier.com


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Shelley@MakingLifeEasier.com


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