Lessons Learned in Care Giving

I recently had the opportunity to try on a new skill set due to circumstance, not choice. Luckily, exploring the role of caregiving opened my eyes to the intricate dance involving responsibility, compassion, and kindness. As I embarked on the journey of full-time (but thankfully short-term) caregiving, my mind kept reminding me, “You Are NOT a nurse; you NEVER EVER wanted to be a nurse! You are an attorney.” It became obvious to me that the skill set that had allowed me much success as an attorney throughout my life did not translate seamlessly into caretaking finesse.

So what did I do? I charged into this nursing role like I would any legal problem; like a warrior. I worked really hard, physically and emotionally, to be the best caretaker I could be. I worked hard to understand the medical terminology, communicate with doctors, nurses, and support staff, juggle medications, manage meals and physical care, and the list goes on and on. Could I nurse? Yes. Was I great at it? No. There were times when I felt I had done a task well, but face it, my bedside manner left a lot to be desired.

Talk about overwhelming! I searched for the lesson and the learning. What I found was a dose of humility and a profound respect for those who are caregivers. Only after I was nearing the end did I realize how much easier it would be next time. Let me share some tips and insights with you should you become a caretaker. From maintaining balance to self-care to strategies for providing the best care for your loved ones, I hope these tips provide insight, and perhaps support, for when you need it.

1. Create a Routine: A daily routine helps create a sense of security and predictability for the patient. This can also reduce the stress on caregivers.

2. Practice Self-Care: As a caregiver, it’s easy to forget about your own needs. Make sure to carve out time for yourself – whether that is exercise, reading, or simply taking a quiet moment to breathe.

3. Communicate Often: Keep the lines of communication open. Ask about your patient’s needs, their feelings, and any changes they may be experiencing. Don’t think you know it all, or that you know best. Listening to the patient can lead to better care and mutual respect. (Remember: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know!)

4. You are Not Alone: Ask for help. Realize that people don’t know what you need. Tell them what you need and ask for help. You will be surprised at the number of people that will say yes and offer to help. There are also support groups and community resources that can provide much-needed emotional support, as well as practical advice and resources.

5. Stay Organized: Keep track of medications, appointments, and important documents. Do not rely on your memory or the patient’s memory. Keep a notebook or use a phone app or other online tools to help manage all the details.

6. Learn About Your Patient’s Condition: Education is key. Attend appointments and ask questions. If your patient has a specific health condition, educate yourself about it. The more you understand their condition, the better you can manage their care.

7. Be Patient: Caregiving can be challenging and frustrating at times. Remember to be patient – with your loved one and yourself. It’s okay if everything doesn’t go perfectly. You’re doing your best. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. You’re not alone in this journey.

Spring Pea Pesto

Quick, easy, versatile, and deliciously vibrant! Use this as a dip, spread, or sauce for pasta. Welcome, spring!


  • 2 cups peas, either frozen and thawed- or use fresh English peas
  • 1/2 cup packed mixed herbs- mint, tarragon or dill
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives or green onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
Directions:In a food processor add peas, mixed herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, chives (or green onion), salt, pepper and olive oil.Pulse for a few minutes until the peas break down but are still textured.Serve immediately or store in the fridge for 3 days.Enjoy!
Feasting At Home: Spring Pea Pesto

Invest In Yourself

February, the month of love, is typically when we express our affection and adoration for others: our partner, children, parents, grandparents, and other special people. This year, I encourage you to honor that one very special person… YOU! Self-care is not a luxury; it is a necessity. It is easy to get caught up with meeting the needs of others and overlook our own needs. When we do that, it is to our detriment. Make February a month that you take time to appreciate yourself. Do those special things for you! Pamper yourself. Fill your tank. You deserve it. Think: What is one thing you can do to show yourself some love? Now Think Again: What is one more thing you can do to show yourself? See how easy that can be.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate covered strawberries are a classic Valentine’s Day sweet – and the perfect option whether you intend to share them, or devour them all yourself!


  • 16 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • toothpicks
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries with leaves

  1. Melt chocolate and shortening in a double boiler, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  2. Insert toothpicks into tops (stem ends) of strawberries. Hold a strawberry by the toothpick and dip it into the chocolate mixture.
  3. Turn the strawberry upside down and insert the toothpick into a Styrofoam block or place strawberry on a sheet of waxed paper; allow chocolate coating to cool. Repeat with remaining strawberries.
AllRecipes: Chocolate Covered Strawberries