Frustrations increase, temper shortens, care responsibilities slowly are missed or neglected, guilt increases, your own health starts to decline as you try to take care of a loved one…These are all signs of overload.
Caregivers, more than most individuals, are prone to overload. Care duties run the gamut from household chores and financial organization to hygiene and medical appointments. The never ending to-do list only seems to get longer. Juggling duties seems impossible.
Pamela Slim, who started K’e, a business dedicated to helping people grow business, offers a helpful analogy of spinning plates. The analogy is aimed at business owners wearing multiple hats or juggling many ideas. They are trying to balance a variety of ‘spinning plates’. This idea carries over well to the job of a caregiver for a loved one.
She offers six steps to control those spinning plates and accomplish all of your responsibilities. This list is revised to apply to a caregiver who is trying to control their own spinning plates.1. MAKE A LIST
- List all of your duties as a caregiver from the smallest to the biggest
- Include all of your responsibilities that you are responsible for fulfilling
- Include those things you know would be beneficial to your loved one if you had enough time
- Household chores
- Financial book-keeping (medical bills, household bills, taxes, Wills)
- Personal (safety, hygiene, health)
- Medical (Medicines, doctor’s appointments, following a treatment plan, etc…)
- Decide what is necessary and most important on your list
- List the frequency that is needs to be accomplished and how much time you need for the task
- Create goals for care, such as safety installations, health goals, exercise goals
- What you are able to accomplish with the time your have
- What you need to delegate to friends and family
- What you need to delegate to professional caregivers; agencies can take of these services
- Mark each item in order or importance
- Mark WHEN you are going to deal with it in whatever way you chose
- Go through the list systematically
- A caregiver for a loved one cannot do it alone
- Accept help and thank those who help!
In this video, Pamela Slim explains how to keep all those spinning plates from crashing using a Lego metaphor: