About our guest: Iris Waichler has been a medical social worker for over 40 years. She is an award-winning author of two books: “Role Reversal: How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents” and “Writing the Infertility Roller Coaster: A Guide to Educate and Inspire.” and is a regular contributor to choosing therapy.com, where she writes articles on mental health and medical topics.
Iris’s Story Iris was a medical social worker on a physical medicine and rehabilitation unit. Her patients came to her with catastrophic medical problems, including amputations, burns, strokes, neurological problems, and head injuries. She saw her patients’ lives change overnight, leaving a profound impact on the family members.
One of the biggest challenges for family members was knowing how to handle the shock of the situation and cope with the ensuing grief. Witnessing a loved one undergo such difficult health challenges was heart-wrenching, and often, family members felt helpless and unsure of how to be of assistance to their loved ones. It was a challenging time for everyone involved, filled with raw emotions and difficult decisions.
Through her work, she saw the necessity for support for family members, as well as the patients themselves. It was a time that no one could prepare for and required sensitivity and empathy, which she delivered throughout her work.
In this episode of Happy and Healthy Mind with Dr. Rozina, Iris shared tips on how she was able to help her patients:
prevent burnout, anxiety, and depression caused by a sudden life change
become physically and mentally fit caregivers by practicing self-care
discover all the different options available for sick family members and their caregivers
Iris’s Burnout Recovery Tips for Caregivers
Develop a caregiving plan by having a loving and honest conversation with your family members
Practice self-care by allowing yourself to take breaks and establishing boundaries
Create special memories by incoporating fun things to do in your daily caregiving routine
Make time for socialization: for yourself and the person you are caring for
Attend counseling or therapy sessions to cope with grief effectively If you want to learn the details on how to implement these tips, watch the full episode below:
“Come to a place where you’re able to do things to help yourself as a caregiver as well as a loved one that you’re taking care of. And that might mean sometimes being able to say, I can’t do it, but I want to find someone that can and to figure out a way to do that without feeling guilty.” -Iris Waichler