Taking Care of Yourself
It is normal to experience the feeling of helplessness or to feel a loss of control when a loved one is in the Center for Cardiac & Critical Care. We know that it is difficult to “wait without action.” To be strong for your loved one, you must take care of yourself first.
- Proper food and sleep will help your ability to listen and understand the significant information you will be given. You will not be helping your loved one by becoming ill yourself.
- Rest is as important for the family as well as for the patient. Adequate sleep will enhance your ability to deal with the many stresses of having a family member in Critical Care. Lack of sleep makes you more prone to illness.
- We understand leaving a loved one at night in the Center for Cardiac & Critical Care can be stressful. Remember, your loved one is being closely monitored by the Critical Care team. We will notify the family spokesperson of any significant changes in your loved one’s condition day or night. Phone numbers may be written on the dry erase boards found in each patient’s room and updated as needed by the family.
- Make sure that all family members are aware who the family spokesperson is and that this person will contact relatives and friends who need to be reached. Using the family spokesperson eliminates frequent calls into the Center for Cardiac & Critical Care which pulls the nurse away from caring for your loved one.
- Accept help from family, friends and neighbors. When someone asks what they can do to help, do not be afraid to tell them.
- Picking up your mail and newspapers
- Helping with transportation & childcare
- Preparing meals
- Feeding and walking pets
- Cleaning your home & mowing your lawn
Making phone calls & running errands
- If phone calls for you become a problem, you can leave a message on your answering machine, updating the message as needed. You can leave information you would like your friends to know about your loved one. As part of the message tell everyone you probably won’t return their call.