A-B-C's for Caregivers

Debbie A. Leonhardt
A-B-C's for Caregivers

A - ACKNOWLEDGE and ADMIT things are different. ASK for help.

B - BALANCE is essential to maintain strength and energy long-term.

C - COMMUNICATE your needs. COPE through self-care.

D - Don't get DETAINED in DENIAL or DEPRESSION. Don't DELAY getting help.

E - EDUCATE yourself about available resources.

F - FOLLOW coping strategies. Be FEARLESS about the future.

G - GRIEVE appropriately for losses. GROW in new directions.


I - INFORM your friends, extended family, and employer about your needs. INFORMATION is power.

J - JOIN support groups.

K - KNOW your limitations KEEP your life simple.

L - LISTEN to your body for its needs.

M - MOVE beyond MEDICAL MODELS, if needed.

N - NEVER give up. Don't NEGLECT self-care.

O - OPEN yourself to new technologies to help your loved one. OBSERVE good health practices.

P - PRACTICE being PRO-ACTIVE to be heard by professionals.

Q - QUESTION things you don't understand.

R - RESTORE yourself through REST and RECREATION.

S - STAND FIRM on what you believe is best for your loved one. Reduce STRESS by following a SCHEDULE.

T - TAKE TIME for yourself.

U - USE every resource available.

V - VOCABULARY may be confusing. Learn medical terms as needed.

W - WILLINGLY accept assistance.

X - XEROX method - copy strategies and techniques that work for others.

Y - YELL for help when you need it. YOU are important too.

Z - ZEALOUSLY guard your private time.

Posted on BrainLine July 25, 2008.

Written by Debbie Leonhardt, 2004. Reprinted with permission. Debbie Leonhardt is President/CEO of Alexandria Counseling and Consulting Services, Inc. in Taylorsville, North Carolina. In 1992, she sustained a brain injury in a motor vehicle accident and is currently serving her thrid term on the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina Board of Directors.

Comments (4)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

Thank you! I live alone with TBI. Myself (and my dogs!) are my caretakers, and will use this for myself! Many are familiar yet this is a wonderful "organized" listing!

This is the time when life shifts and you find out what your friends are made of.  My husband 42 years old diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and 2 brain surgeries and 80% of his frontal lobe removed.  Ours friends have completely changed 100% of them.  We now shift our focus and have different criteria for friends.  we only share time with people who understand.  Join local TBI or brain cancer groups and people who share the same challenges will understand and appreciate your love and support.  As soon as we accepted that we are no longer like the rest of the world we fond the right people that make a difference in our lives and we in theirs.  Like the train jumped tracks and we are now in a different direction.    We live with such challenges but we also blessed with this enormous sense of enlightenment.    All the best to you.

I really want to thank you for sharing your story. That is exactly what I'm going through so to know how somebody else has/is handling it helps tremendously! Thanks for taking the time from your busy life to help others. My thoughts & prayers are with you and all those in our situation.

I love this.my son had a TBI in a car accident 2 years ago.he deals with drug addiction,depression, mood issues sleep issues,a complete personality change.his friends have abandoned him and so have mine.