I just read a post on a group I belong to: myALzTeam.  A person was talking about caring for her father while he was caring for her Moher with Alzheimer’s.  That reminded me of all the advice I have been given about caring for one’s self.

What I would like to address is not the kind of self care that involves going to the hairdresser or other shopping.  I mean self care of the “medically essential” type.

I recently had cataract surgery in one eye, and in a couple of weeks, the other eye will be dealt with.  That means one day of surgery, next day post op, drops in your eye 3 times a day and sleeping with an eye shield. It also means that as quickly as the eye heals, I will still a little hazy for a couple of days.

My husband is safely in a dementia care facility.  But, what if I had had to have had this surgery performed when he was still with me at home?  What if it had not been outpatient surgery?  I could have been gone for days, not hours.

No one wants to plan ahead for a medical issue, elective surgery or an emergency. But, it might be a good idea to gather your support team around and make a plan.  Will there need to be overnight accommodations, or day care? How many prepared meals will get you through days when you aren’t cooking?  Imagine all the things you do as a caregiver, then ask your self who could/would do them if you weren’t able to, even for a couple of days.

I am not trying to give you one more thing to worry about, but to have even a broad outline of a “what if” plan, is better than be blindsided.

with love and hope,

Jane