The Cheerful Caregiver

Taking care of YOU while taking care of a loved one

Caregiver, have confidence!

Last updated: December 26, 2011

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Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. "“ Norman Vincent Peale

I have a confession to make: I frequently feel inadequate. Acutely inadequate. As a wife, as a nurse, as a writer, as a woman, as a caregiver. Often, these feelings overwhelm me to the point I find it difficult to start or continue a project. After all, why begin something if you believe you won't do it well? Or won't even finish it?

Take this past Thanksgiving. I invited my siblings to come from out of state, and they graciously accepted. I planned a menu and some activities, but as the date approached, doubt crept in. I felt I wouldn't be able to pull off a large dinner for nine in my small kitchen. I believed my siblings wouldn't be interested in the activities I'd planned, and that they'd be bored and regret they

It's about presence, not presents

Last updated: December 12, 2011

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"When I look back, I recall countless hours spent perusing catalogs and stores trying to find the right gift for my mother. I also recall, as the disease progressed, watching her happily unwrapping her gifts but not understanding they were for her or what they were. What she did understand were the moments we spent together on the couch, holding hands, talking and giggling. She understood when my dad put on music and danced with her. And even if she didn't understand a joke, she understood the laughter and love that filled her home. She understood, probably better than I, that it wasn't about the stuff ~ it was about the people." "“ Patti Kerr, author

Recently, my friend Trevania Henderson of CaringWise posted this epigram on the CaringWise Facebook wall. It's a powerful reminder of the divergence that can occur between what we, as caregivers, value versus what our carees value as they

About The Cheerful Caregiver
  • As a family caregiver myself, I know how easy it is to let your own needs slide to the bottom of the priority list. My mission is to help you (and me!) push our own needs back up to the top -- without feeling guilty for doing so. And in the process, we'll all become much more cheerful caregivers. In these blog posts, you'll find inspiration, exasperation, practical wisdom, humor, and stuff to make your caregiving life easier. Won't you join me? I'm Elizabeth Hanes, caregiver to my mom, Registered Nurse, and award-winning journalist. Let's make this journey together!

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