Chapter 1: The juggling act
As the months went by, I noticed that I had very little in reserve and it didn’t take much to put me over an edge. So we shortened the number of weeks of caregiving and took more breaks.
Part of looking after yourself is planning how you are going to manage the responsibilities of caregiving, work, home, and other aspects of your life. You may already have created a list and or a circle of care in Module 3: Preparing for caregiving at home. However, as an illness progresses, needs may change and increase, and you may need to revisit and revise your list and circle of care.
Below are some suggestions that may assist you in balancing caregiving and other responsibilities as the needs and demands change. Click on each one for more detailed information.
Make a list of what needs to be done each day or for the week, and adjust if needed. Sort your list by:
- Must do
- Can wait a bit
- When I can get to it
Make a list of people or services that could help. Update the list as needed, especially if the illness and caregiving is long-term. Reach out to friends, acquaintances, community organizations, and/or a faith community.
- List the tasks you could use help with. People often want to help but are unsure of how.
- Stay with the person who is ill to give you time for a rest, to do something for yourself or your children/family, or just to run some errands.
- Help with a pet, home maintenance, cleaning, or dropping off a meal or groceries.
- Transportation assistance to/from appointments.
*For a more complete list, please refer to the Creating your circle of care PDF in the Helpful resources section below.
You may find relief in knowing that someone else is looking after even simple tasks. If there is a hospice or palliative care program in your area, they may have volunteers or respite workers available to come to your home. Helpful resources
Caregiver module series: Module 3 – Preparing for caregiving at home, Chapter 2: It takes a village: Family and friends