‘Health is a state of body. Wellness is a state of being.’
We don’t always have control over our health, but we do have choices when it comes to how we manage the responsibilities in our lives. We can be controlled by circumstances or take control.
Caregiving is a state of continuous change; a balancing act of skill, patience, persistence and self-preservation. It takes guts and a bold spirit. Anyone can take it on, but no one can effectively manage the demands of the role when neglecting themselves. Wellness is the choice to attend to our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs. When we choose wellness the synergistic effect is greater than the sum of the parts. A state of wellness is a commitment to quality of life for both care partners. The Wellness Wheel shown below is a pictorial representation of the seven dimensions of wellness.
The first step in taking charge of this new role is preparation. Caregiving, like any new job, has a learning curve.
- You don’t know what you don’t know. I will familiarize you with the context of caregiving; areas you need to become familiar with, common terminology, prioritizing planning and needs, resources, and potential bumps in the road.
- You and your loved one are embarking on a new relationship. You may be an adult child or a spouse, a relative or a friend. If you are or will be a caregiver for that person, your relationship is going to be different. Preparing for some of the potential challenges ahead can help ease the changing dynamics of the relationship.