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 the edge. So we shortened the number of weeks of caregiving and took more breaks.
Part of looking after yourself is planning how you will 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 a person’s illness progresses, their needs may change and increase. You may need to revisit and revise your list and circle of care.
Below are some suggestions that may help you balance caregiving and other responsibilities as needs change. Click on each for more information.
Make a list of what needs to be done each day or each week. Make changes if needed. Sort your list:
- "Must do” things
Things that can wait a bit
- Things to do when someone can get to it
Make a list of people or services that could help. Update the list as needed, especially if the person’s illness and caregiving needs are long-term. Reach out to friends, other people you know, community organizations, and/or a faith community.
List the tasks you would like help with. People often want to help but don’t know what to do. Here are some examples:
- Staying with the person who is ill to give you time away, 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 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 the person’s home. Helpful resources
Caregiver module series: Module 3 – Preparing for caregiving at home, Chapter 2: It takes a village: Family and friends