Maura Horton, Care Coach, is a voice of guidance and
experience for caregivers and their families. She was her
husband’s primary caregiver during his decade-long battle with
early onset Parkinson’s disease. While caring for him, Maura
pioneered the concept of adaptive clothing that prioritized function
and fashion equally. She invented a patented magnetic closure
system for clothing and launched MagnaReady®, the world’s first magnetic shirt.
Maura continues to be a driving force of the adaptive movement, working to develop holistically inclusive designs that span tech, wellness, home, beauty, style and more. A spokesperson in the industry, Maura has been quoted in major media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Prevention and Caring.com. She has appeared on major television news networks including CNN, The Today Show, CBS This Morning and Fox News. Maura has also been a guest speaker at the American Parkinson Disease Association’s Magic of Hope Gala, the Davis Phinney Foundation Little Big Things conference, and the White House’s Design For All Showcase.
Caregiving can be riddled with guilt. There can be internal voices in our head that we struggle with daily. Guilt for not being or doing better. Guilt for things we think we could have done or guilt for things we shouldn’t have said. Not every day, every moment or every interaction is perfect, and we all have moments where we would like a redo. It is important not to dwell on it. We will be better the “next time” if we forgive ourselves.
We often take notes or journal about who we are taking care of for reference or to bring to an upcoming doctor visit. We do this to document change, see patterns and/ or progressions. Why not jot down information on you… the caregiver… How you are feeling? Was it a good day for you, too? Was there something you noticed about yourself? This is extremely helpful so you can also look back and remember how you were feeling during a certain time or situation. You might be pleasantly surprised to see gratitude and love recurring in your notes.
Ask for help! Conversations often go like this, “Please let me know if I can help in any way,” and our responses are often “No thanks” or “I will,” and yet we rarely do! Don’t wait until the ship is sinking to ask for help. Surround yourself with people who want to help, even if it’s just in a small way. Help is cumulative. It all adds up. We, as humans, seem to function better with purpose. Accept someone else’s purpose to help you.
Self-reflection is often hard but so very important in being the best we can be. Take a minute to breathe, gather thoughts and look inward. Take time to value the accomplishments you may have had. Take time to be thankful for a good moment or a laugh. Take time to see how strong you are.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt. Try to not compare your journey or day to someone else’s. In caregiving, you will have unique challenges, layered with complicated decisions. What you may choose for you or your loved one will be different than others and that is OK! There isn’t a formula for caregiving. You cannot assume just because something may have worked for someone else, that it will work for you. Find your path.
When game planning your day, week, month or morning, learn to simplify. We have often been taught that the more we do in a day, the better. However, when it comes to caregiving, we need to make things less daunting. Trim the things that wear you down during your day. Simplify your life. If something intimidating lies ahead of you, try to break it down into small steps to achieve your goal. Know that living an uncomplicated life can help make things seem more manageable.
Designed with caregivers, for caregivers. With its built-in shave gel, the Gillette Treo is the very first razor specifically designed to shave someone else. It features a safety comb to protect the skin and prevent clogging, an ergonomic handle for comfort and control, as well as special non-foaming gel that works without any water.WATCH NOW
Care Coach and MagnaReady founder Maura Horton talks to Dr. Ray Dorsey about his just released book Ending Parkinson’s Disease: A Prescription for ActionREAD
Expert tips and advice from the Care Coach each month.READ