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Esther Heerema, MSW

Caregivers, How About a Gift for Yourself this Holiday Season?

By December 17, 2012

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During this busy season, you might be finishing up your Christmas shopping and gift selection for other family members or friends. But, have you thought of giving yourself a gift? Probably not, if I had to venture a guess.

The idea might sound a little strange, but I think it has merit. If you're privileged to be a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer's or another dementia, you're probably aware that it's a rewarding but also sometimes challenging job.  You also might know that caregivers are at risk for burnout. And, a burned out, empty caregiver with little patience, energy or health  doesn't end up benefiting your loved one.

One way to monitor this is to check yourself for signs of caregiver overload and be proactive in addressing them. There's a reason there's so much information about burnout; caregivers are at a very high risk.

Another way to reduce this risk a little is to choose a gift to give yourself. You know yourself; think of what refills your emotional energy level and allows you to rest and be renewed. Remember that by giving yourself a gift, you're giving your loved one a gift as well.

For the Caregiver: Gifts to Give Yourself- A few ideas you might consider for your own gift.

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