Caregivers take care of others, but who takes care of them?
In the United States at this time there are over 40 million of us who are giving care to a loved one, friend or neighbor. It is a beautiful journey of our lives weaving into the fabric of our families and our nation. Many of those in this role are not in a paid position for their love and service but out of care support those in need. This opportunity to assist others, however, can take a toll on the caregiver if they do not step aside for a time of renewal themselves.
In this broadcast, Home Page Correspondent Sara Vogt spoke with therapist Lori Makos of Laurel Behavioral Health about caring for the caregiver. When asked who takes care of the caregiver, Lori answered describing the image of being on an airplane and when the flight attendant comes out and says. ‘In the event of an emergency, an oxygen mask will fall from the ceiling, and you are to place it on your face.’ But then Lori continues by asking the question, “If you are with a child or maybe a compromised adult you are to take that oxygen mask and do you place it on the child or do you place it on yourself? The best answer is to place the mask on yourself not because we
are selfish, but because we are part of the equation and we need to be alright so that we can take care of others.”
Lori had many suggestions to assist us to have a healthy balance between caring for others and ourselves, such as knowing ourselves, making plans and listening to our emotions. She stressed, “we are not machines, we require sleep, recreation, fun, and good food. No one is going to do it for us as adults, and we have to take care of ourselves.” In the video, she also explained how our emotions are like a compass telling us what we need to hear, whether we are in a healthy or unhealthy balance.
Sometimes when we are searching for that healthy balance, Lori encouraged us to look outside of ourselves for assistance. She mentioned the Area Agency on Aging when caring for the elderly.
Also when we feel the need to be heard, we can acquire support from a therapist, pastor, friend or spouse.
In her summary, Lori stated, ” An emotionally, mentally, healthy person is a balanced person. We can’t work 24 hours a day. We need time to play and to rest. We have to work in our lives to try to get that to happen.”
On this broadcast, many questions were addressed about the healthy balance between caring for others while also caring for ourselves. If you are still struggling with your caregiving responsibilities or have other behavioral issues that you would like to address, you can make an appointment with one of their counselors by calling 570-723-0620.
For more information about Laurel Behavioral Health, you can visit their website here.
Idea/Concept: Sara Vogt
Videography: Andrew Moore
Video Editing: Andrew Moore
Writing: Sara Vogt
Anchor: Rhonda Pearson
Correspondent: Sara Vogt
Produced by Vogt Media
Funded by Laurel Health Centers