Posts Tagged ‘responsibilities

Celebrating Valentine’s Day as a Caretaker

Valentine’s Day is a holiday that people love to love or love to hate. Some people love the idea of having a whole day to celebrate their love for their friends, family, and that special someone. Other people believe Valentine’s Day is a made up holiday to generate card, chocolate and flower sales. Whatever your opinion is, as a caretaker acknowledging Valentine’s Day can benefit your loved one.

If you take away all of the commercialization of Valentine’s Day what is left? The answer is simple- love. Dedicating a whole day of love for the people in your life is a great way to realize how valuable they are. As a caretaker, you are already a laborer of love. Balancing work and family is stressful enough. You choose to become a primary caretaker because of your deep love for your family member or friend.

This Valentine’s Day, take some time to think about the love you have for the friend or family member you are taking care of. In the chaos of trying to create a successful balancing act, it’s easy to forget why you are a caretaker. Think about great memories shared between the two of you and talk about them with your sick loved one. You don’t have to buy flowers, chocolates, or cards to celebrate your love for each other.

Also, don’t forget to celebrate the love you have for yourself. Take a moment to think about your characteristics that make you unique and special. When you love yourself you can love others even more. Don’t let yourself forget your worth or that you are a strong, caring person. Give yourself a giant hug and compliment.

Even though Valentine’s Day can seem a little over the top and excessive, don’t forget the message of love. Let others in your life know that you love them even if it’s a simple phone call or letter. And celebrate the love you have for yourself.

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Labor of Love

With the Labor Day Holiday approaching this weekend, I really want to take the time to examine what this holiday means. Basically, Labor Day was made an official holiday in 1894 to coincide with the labor movement. Everyone needs an extra day off from the stress of work, but when your job is a caretaker, it’s a different story.

Photo by Gianluca Neri from

This Labor Day, I want to encourage caretakers to take the whole day off from the responsibility of taking care of a sick loved one. I understand this is not an easy task to do and it may seem irresponsible, but I feel it is necessary to take a break.

For the most part, caretakers work harder than others. The majority of caretakers have multiple responsibilities that require the same amount of dedication and time. Imagine having the responsibility of a full-time job, children, a spouse as well as taking care of a sick loved one. The amount of stress and exhaustion that falls on the caretaker is tremendous and can cause serious health effects.

 Most caretakers push themselves too hard because they feel guilty if they are not giving 100% to all of their responsibilities. The guilt can cause caretakers to not take time off for themselves to relax and rest. Our bodies and minds need rest in order to function correctly. When we push ourselves to the maximum, we can cause harm to our bodies and our relationships can suffer.

 Caretakers, take Labor Day off. Ask a friend or relative for help and enjoy the day to relax. Your body and mind will thank you later. If you are alone and do not have anyone to reach out to, look into an adult daycare or a homecare nurse. Do not feel guilty about having a day to yourself. No matter what responsibilities and tasks we have, we are all still human and need a day to ourselves.

Friends or families of caretakers, encourage a day off for them. Volunteer to help and reassure caretakers that they deserve this day to themselves. Showing your support and enthusiasm will help ease the caretaker’s guilt and will give them a peace of mind.

When you’re a caretaker, you are a laborer of love. Your actions and decisions to provide care for a sick loved one all come from the heart. You deserve a day free from responsibilities to re-group and focus on your needs. Relax, rest and remember that having a healthy body, mind and attitude will allow you to be the best caretaker possible.

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