Dear Caregiver,

I just wanted you to know you are loved and supported. I admire caregivers like you because you continually educate yourself to discover ways to be the best caregiver you can be. You’re an advocate for your loved one. You help people when they are down. You don’t turn your back on someone in need – especially when it comes to family.

You’re doing a great job allowing your loved one to maintain their level of independence. You probably feel the urge to help them with every simple task, but you’re well aware of the benefits they receive from continuing to take part in the day-to-day activities. Maybe it’s making a family favorite recipe for dinner or an outing to a grandchild’s wedding. Whatever it is, you allow them to be themselves, maybe as a mother or father, husband or wife. You know their heart swells with pride when they get the opportunity to still fulfill that role.

I’m so glad to hear that you’re taking time for yourself and getting much needed rest when you can. I know you struggle to ask for help or it’s not always available, but it seems like you know just what to do with your free time, whether that’s relaxation, finally getting that new book you’ve been talking about, or checking out that new restaurant. I bet your loved one enjoys seeing you well rested and with a smile on your face.

I hope you know how appreciated you are and allow yourself to embrace that appreciation. I’m sure the days can seem long and sometimes trying. When it gets tough, give yourself grace. Seek to understand what your loved one is going through. Remember why you stepped up to become a caregiver. I think taking time to reflect helps you realize how much you are helping your loved one. What you’re doing is truly an incredible job!

Finally, I want to say thank you for being an example of love and compassion in our family and our community. You allow your loved one independence, give them the space that they need all while showering them with love and knowing when it’s time to take a moment for yourself. Watching you care for your loved one makes me strive to be a better, more empathetic person with everyone I come in contact with. I hope more people can learn from your actions. Take pride in what you do and never stop being the amazing person you are.

Sincerely,

Kayla Shaf

5a95e32fd2049.image