Be Proactive In Care
Maybe you’ve heard of being proactive. In simple terms, being proactive is thinking ahead. An example of being proactive would be ordering medications a week or two before they run out, rather than waiting until the last pill is taken and trying to get a the doctor to approve a refill for a prescription that has none left. It is keeping a spare oxygen tank always available for those moments that the unknown happens, or keeping the gas tank always above half just in case you need to make a quick trip to the hospital. Your loved one notices these things, whether or not the words are spoken.
It really does make a difference when you are thinking ahead and taking care of things before they become problems. It not only makes situations easier to deal with, but it gives your loved one a sense of security and peace. The more that you are ahead of issues and proactively taking care of things, the more that your loved one will relax and learn to enjoy time with you.
I saw this specifically in the times that I traveled with my mom. It took a few small trips to the mall or the doctor for her to become comfortable with allowing me to take care of her needs. There is no way that she would have let me take her from the East coast of the United States all the way to Hawaii, if she would have been worried that I would be careless with her needs. Think about that. If you cannot make arrangements ahead of time for a refill or plan a simple dinner, how could your loved one be comfortable with you taking on more?
Small things add up, and the more that your loved one can relax into your care, the more you will be trusted for the bigger decisions and preparations.
Tell them what you need. Your caregivers cannot read your mind, and you and I both know that this is a good thing sometimes. There are times when the medications have your emotions all over the place and your mind is racing on things that you would never dwell on otherwise, so I know that you don’t need to tell your caregiver everything that you are thinking. However, if you are needing something to be taken care of that is missed often, you should let your caregiver know, with love and respect.
It would be a waste of your emotional energy to remain upset at your caregiver over something that they have no idea has caused you stress. I do understand that some of you are dealing with caregivers that are just not gifted in this role, but try to understand that with a little communication, you both may begin to understand the situation and each other better.
If you have talked to your caregiver about your needs, but they are still unable to meet those needs, maybe reaching out to another friend or family member for that specific need would be a good idea. For example, if your primary caregiver has too much going on, maybe someone else can take your list and run some errands that keep getting pushed back. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help, but always remember that as you communicate better, your caregivers will come to understand your needs better. As their understanding grows, rest assured that they will begin to see how to be more proactive for you.
Has your COPD affected the way you celebrate the holidays?