No matter how young, no matter how old, Keeping Them Healthy, Keeping Them Home: How to Care for Your Loved Ones at Home by Ellen M. Caruso was published in 1998, and it is still relevant. Ms. Caruso explains that most care partners fall into the job because no one else is available. The familiar story goes like this: a family member or friend becomes ill and is admitted to the hospital but, when the patient gets discharged from the hospital, they refuse to go to a nursing facility and thus, you become, in an instant, a care partner. With today’s hospital stay status, patients are discharged sooner than in the past and arrive home with increased caring needs. Ms. Caruso offers some very helpful suggestions, for example, she suggests installing a baby monitor to alert the care partner of the patient’s needs. Who would have thought of this but oh, so wise? Lisa Frederiksen takes this a step further advising us to “Relax. Breathe. It takes time, but there is a great joy to be had in moments of every day. Just remember, you’re learning new steps, a new dance.” Ms. Frederiksen has more than forty years’ experience with alcohol use disorders and many years of being a care partner.
Self-care ritual: As a care partner, stay connected with family and friends, ask lots of questions, and hire help for those things you are not comfortable or able to perform.