Learning To Trust Yourself, Caregivers Have Good Hearts

October 28, 2009 at 12:04 am 5 comments

Caregiving can be full of doubts.

“Am I kind enough? Patient enough? What if I don’t make the right decision regarding medicine, surgery, or treatment for my loved one? Is this what Dad would have wanted? Is my mom–or dad–better off in a care home or here, with me? Alzheimer’s, cancer, Lewy Body, Parkinson’s, heart disease…how can a spouse, son, or daughter know what to do? Learning to trust your heart, and your gut is about the hardest thing to do.

You can’t know it all. You don’t have to know it all. It’s not even about knowing it all! Yes, as a caregiver you need to educate yourself, know what resources are available, ask for help, and as important as it is to be a savvy caregiver who knows what’s going on, it’s equally if not more important to trust your instincts.

When I say “you’ll figure it out,” it’s because you will. You’ll use all your senses, all your past experience, all your knowledge and it will come together just when you need it.

You know your spouse. You know your mom or dad. You know what they need. And most likely, that tiny alarm going off in your head is something you should listen to. We’re connected to those love on a spiritual and biological level. How many amazing stories have you heard about a family member who knew a loved one was in danger–or had something going on that the doctors were missing?

That’s why it’s essential that you stay healthy, you get the rest you need. Your senses are dulled when you’re past exhausted. Your loved one needs you to be their advocate and to do for them what no one else in the world can do. You listen, pick up clues, love wholeheartedly and pay attention when others can sadly consider it at times, “just a job.” Not to you. It’s family. A part of you.

Trust your good heart. Speak up when you feel a check. Your good heart will guide you.


Entry filed under: brain fitness, caring for parents, elder care, family caregiving. Tags: , , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. AT  |  October 28, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Wow. It’s hard to even take care of myself. Taking care of another generation can be an overload. It’s so hard to make decisions for another person. Some decisions are obvious, but others create so much stress. Patience is key, and I strive to find the strength to recognize my own good sense, trusting that my care decisions are informed and in everyone’s best interest.

  • 2. uberVU - social comments  |  October 30, 2009 at 2:32 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by mike_gamble: Learning To Trust Yourself, Caregivers Have Good Hearts – http://bit.ly/3UXK4r

  • 3. Applejack Alfie  |  November 21, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    I am 29 and being my fathers guardian. It`s incredably hard to come to terms that I have to be the one to make decissions (often above his head or without his knowledge), and I constantly doubt myself in this process. It`s very hard being your parents “parent”. But I know I will only have myself to rely on – and words like these make it a bit easier!

    thank you!


    • 4. Steve  |  November 30, 2009 at 9:04 pm

      Boy, I know how scary it is to make decisions that can impact someone else’s life. It’s so, so hard to know what’s right. I don’t know you, but I’m proud of you, of your decision to care for your dad even when it’s tough.
      I hope you can be okay with making mistakes, dropping the ball–because you will. There’s just so much to manage, and it’s too easy to just fall into the caregiving vortex and beat yourself up for every little thing. I hope at least once a day you’ll catch a glimpse of your reflection in a mirror and say, “I am enough.”
      ~Carol O’Dell

  • 5. About learning to trust… « A daughters diary  |  November 21, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    […] Learning To Trust Yourself, Caregivers Have Good Hearts […]


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This Blog

Hi, I'm Carol O'Dell. This blog will include stories and lessons I've learned while caring for my mom, and now as I speak to caregivers around the country. I hope to offer suggestions, ideas and insights that will help others.

While this blog is supported by Dakim Brain Fitness, I’m not blogging to promote the Dakim company or products. Instead, I’m writing about how caring and being cared for affects your life and your family. My hope is that this blog gives you a place to learn, reflect, gain new perspective to make it another day.

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