Are you stuck at home?
Stuck hours at a time in a hospital / care facility with a loved one?
Do you own a snap front house dress and wear it with socks and house shoes? (Guys…come on, fess up.!)
Then you might need a caregiver re-invention!
It’s kind of like an intervention–you know, when your loved ones all get in your face and tell you your life has gone to pot and you need professional help….
If you’re not careful, you’ll lose yourself in the vortex of caregiving.
I had many, many days when I was too tired, lethargic, zombie like to do much of anything past cut pills, serve meals on trays and wash bed sheets.
But caregiving didn’t come in your life to drag you down. It also can provide incredible, unique opportunities.
If you’ve had to quit your job/work less hours/move or have your loved one move in with you, chances are you’re not going to be able to go back to your old life. Life has changed. You’ve changed.
The average caregivers spend 4.5 years caring full-time for a loved one–and 70% of all caregivers do it at home–and go it alone. Sad. Caregiving need not be that isolating.
You have to think creatively. Use adult day care while you can. Hire a sitter–a neighbor–someone you trust–while you can. There may come a day when you can’t. Even if you do have to put your loved one in a facility, you still have to check on them all hours of the day and night to make sure they’re receiving good care.
But…in the few snatch and grab minutes you have during the course of 24 hours a day–why not try something new?
start that memoir or write a poem–even a sappy one
buy a hummingbird feeder and take pictures of them–you don’t even have to go outside
buy some yarn, some knitting needles and a book
cook something you saw on the Food Channel
try an online college class
take up chess or soduku
try a home repair yourself–get a book from the library
buy a yoga DVD and do 5 minutes a day–build from there
Now, none of this is going to change the world, but it can brighten yours.
Before you go all snarky on me, grumble, complain you don’t have time–or energy for such malarky…give it a try.
No one’s watching.
Caregivers need a break and no one’s going to give you a break until YOU give you a break.
I know it’s difficult to think about, but one day, your loved one will not be on this earth.
And you need to go on. You need to come out of caregiving a different person–with new skills and interests.
Caregiving happened for a reason, for many reasons–some of them good.
Reinvent yourself. You just might like the new you.
Author of Mothering-Mother: A Daughter’s Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir
by Kunati Publishing
available on Amazon and in most bookstores