It may sound silly to think that a family caregiver who is successfully caring for an elderly loved one needs to learn how to care for him or herself, but that’s often the case. Too often family caregivers believe that there’s no room to worry about their own health.
Don’t Take Comments Personally
One of the first ways that family caregivers begin to notice that they aren’t taking great care of themselves is often a comment or two from a well-meaning friend or loved one. If you’re on the receiving end of one of these comments, try not to take them personally. These folks likely mention your health to you because they care about you.
Take Stock of What You’re Doing for Yourself
When you realize you need to be paying attention to your health, first take stock of what you’re doing now. This allows you to sort out what you’re doing well, what you’re doing poorly, and what you’re not doing at all. Don’t judge yourself based on your current health care status, just resolve to do better for yourself.
Make a Solid Plan Based on What You Need
Now it’s time to start looking at what you need in order to be healthy. If you’re not already doing those things, or if you’re not fully committed to them, you need to rethink your approach. Start formulating a plan that you can work within and start implementing it. If you need your doctor’s help to figure out a plan, make an appointment.
Periodically Take Stock Again
It’s not enough to develop a plan for handling your own health and then let it go. You have to revisit the plan every now and again to see if your needs have changed, if your health has changed, or if your priorities regarding your health have changed. Your self-care plan is a fluid plan that needs to adjust and adapt as your needs do. This is an essential part of your ongoing healthy living plan.
The big reward for taking care of yourself properly is that you’re going to be an even better family caregiver for your elderly loved one.
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She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.
Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.
Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.
Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.
She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).
She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.
Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).
She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.
Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.
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