Blog on the caregiver journey featuring my own story and tips for thriving during challenging times
Help for The Youngest in this situation: I have been caring for my elderly father who is in a nursing home, somehow, for over five years. It started with three more family members helping out but now I am basically the only one. It gets harder and harder. I am only 37 years-old and the youngest of my family. For the past three months, I have done nothing but visit him and work. It has begun to conflict with my personal interests. I can’t go anywhere for long periods of time; my peace of mind has long been gone. I think I need some help.
Staying one step ahead of need, crisis, challenge, can keep you feeling calm and in control when #caregiving responsibilties become part of your life. This webinar delivered January 11, 2024 to the clients and community of Forty W Financial Advisors in Bethesda, MD was offered by me, Fern Pessin, at the request of 40W to help. #Gettingorganized ahead of time, when you’re relaxed, can make life so much easier. Enjoy. Feel free to send me questions at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to answer.
Caregiving is intense and relentless sometimes. Other times it is like the earth has slowed down the rate at which it spins and things that used to happen quickly suddenly take fooooorrrrrreeeeeevvvvveeeerrrr. For the last few years, I have been dreaming of escapes. It is suddenly clear to me that my “escape” idea is not so much about space as it is about time. What challenges me the most is emotional and physical energy management. How do I get to a point where the place I’m in feels safe and I no longer want to run away, escape, retreat? I’m hoping that by the end of this winter retreat at the beach, I will have the answer. I hope by December of 2024 I will be writing about how successful I’ve been and how happy I am to remain in my own space and stop trying to “retreat”.
Caregiving can be both physically and emotionally draining. Getting respite is critical to the well-being and even survival of the caregivers. Being the partner of a caregiver makes you a caregiver as well. Often a caregiver thinks they would never get over the feelings of guilt if it turns out the vacation causes them to not be there when a parent passes away. Starting with a brief, local mini vacay can offer the benefits of getting a break which might lead to long weekends and then perhaps even a week away, or a respite retreat near you. Giving voice to your own needs while caregiving and sharing revitalizing activities is critical to long term health of all involved.
How much is too much to ask of another person to help with caregiving? To be healthy, each of us must set our own boundaries. No one wants to be diminished, ignored or trampled over. On the other hand, all relationships involve give and take, so whatever my expectations are does not mean you must meet them. It’s only through clear communication, updated over time for new life happenings, that we can maintain positive, mutually beneficial relationships. Creating clarity will improve willingness to participate within recognized/stated boundaries.