Adjusting to the Caregiving Role
Jumping in and taking care of my parents was really not at the top of my mind right before my caregiving journey began. I was aware of course, that my parents were slowing down and my moms memory was beginning to fail but I felt that there was no immediate cause for alarm.
They insisted they were fine so we figured any issues would be addressed down the road.
When my Dad suddenly got pneumonia from pure exhaustion (and probably an indication of heart issues that would follow later) and it became obvious that he really needed help caring for my Mom I was surprised but jumped right in. His health was in jeopardy and mom was exhibiting more serious signs of dementia. So there I was willing and able but not prepared for this journey of a lifetime. (Read this helpful article: What is Home Care)
Adjusting to the caregiving role is a slow and sometimes scary process. I had to constantly remind myself that it was progress not perfection. I wanted to do it all immediately and do it all perfectly. As we all know none of us are perfect, but in a situation like this when it feels like there is so much at stake and everything seems so important I really tried to overcompensate and was headed for early burn out. (See this wonderful article: Top 10 signs that assisted living may be needed)
I had to slow down, do the best I could on a daily basis and take it one day at a time.
There are so many moving parts to the caregiving experience and adjusting to all the details, doctors, prescriptions, housing, insurance, psychological and physical issues takes time and extraordinary patience. Patience not only for those around us but also for ourselves.
Surviving the caregiving journey with the least amount of stress and most amount of joy depends on our ability to take it slow, give ourselves and our loved ones a break. Take the time to adjust calmly. Get lots of support and be as kind to yourself as you are to those you care for.
Copyright 2015: Caregiver Warrior