Caring for the Caregiver

Yesterday, Susan Levin of talked about caring for loved ones as they approach death. Here are some of her tips about how to take care of yourself as well:

• Be conscious of caregiver burnout– Get help from family members (even older children and siblings) and hired caregivers. Oftentimes, it takes more than one person to maneuver another person.

• Keep a visitor on the premises for no longer than 10 minutes (it’s easier on both the patient and the caregiver).

• Consider the dying process a family affair, one that can and should involve older children.

• Educate yourself to know what to expect ahead of time.

• Realize that some comatose patients have the power to hear and respond.

• Call in the clergy for final rituals.

• Rituals are calming.

• Understand that the senses, such as hearing, may become more pronounced near death.

• Grant each grieving person some private time to commune in their own way with the departed.

As Susan says, “Helping someone die with dignity is gut-wrenching. But less so when you participate in the process together.”

Our thanks to Susan for her insights and helpful tips. You can visit her at for more information.

For some Nourishing Relationship tips for taking better care of yourself while you care for your aging parent, click on the title above. It will take you to and our article there, How to Shift from Daddy’s Girl to Dad’s Caregiver. The rest of this week, we will continue to give you Sandwiched Boomers some of our personal thoughts about communicating with your dying loved one in during the difficult process.

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