Caregiving is the loneliest profession in the world.
Not only that, but it also doesn’t pay well either.
No gold stars either.
There is no training, no course you can take to become an expert on what your Dad or Mom may or may not do next.
Nope. No crystal ball in the future to tell you where you’re going, what’s going to happen next, why she wakes up at 3 AM, why he flushes things down the toilet he, or why she fell.
No crystal ball.
But there is hope. And there are some things that you can do to protect yourself from the loneliness, the frustration, the grief, the anger that you feel. And every day these emotions build a little bit more to a point but either you feel defeated or you explode.
We can’t even ask why he won’t eat his favorite meal, why he takes the car when he knows he can’t drive, why she continues to say ugly remarks to everyone when she used to be half-way decent. Because to ask means we expect an answer. Are there any good answers?
But there is hope. And there are some things that you can do to protect yourself from the loneliness, the frustration, the grief, the anger, and the guilt that you feel.
And every day these emotions build a little bit more until there’s a point that either you feel defeated or you explode.
And when you finally make those decisions that maybe you can’t do this anymore, everyone swoops down on you like vultures on a dead carcass, telling you that you got to take care of that parent or worse, you’re selfish.
Who understands what you are going through?
ONLY other caregivers.
you do not have to go at this alone…
There is a whole team of people out there that you wrap yourself around like a blanket swaddling a new-born baby.
You can feel comfortable, safe and protected from the hurt.
And this blanket is going to be wrapped in all different forms.
It’s going to come from the next door neighbor who cooks you a meal.
It’s going to come from the lady at church who sits with your mom for a few hours so you can get a break.
It’s going to come from the plumber who can be there instantly to fix that toilet after your father flushed a towel in it.
It’s going to come from the sister who finally steps up to the plate and takes mom so you can have a vacation.
It’s going to come from the home health agency you hire to help you feed Dad so you can take a walk.
It’s going to come from the attorney who settled her estate in a way that you understand, and the leverage to do what needs to be done after she passes.
It’s going to come from the doctor who tells your mom the things you’ve told her, but she finally listens to him.
It’s going to come from that YouTube who teaches you how to feed dad who has dementia and won’t eat.
It’s going to come from a friend who emails you with a note of appreciation.
It’s going to come from the stranger who just smiled at you.
It’s going to come from your support group who gave you the wisdom of the day.
It’s going to come from the three friends who will take turns listening while you vent.
Yes, you’re going to have to learn to swaddle yourself within all the care you can get.
Never refuse help…
You cannot take care of another human being if you cannot take care of yourself first.
Let these gracious folks help in whatever way they can.
Let them lift you up. It will make them feel good, too.
Snatch these kindnesses.
Don’t turn people away for sometimes they don’t come back.
But helping others is a funny thing. When we help you, and you show your appreciation to us for whatever we did, well…we want to do it again and again and again.
Any many times we are hurt if you don’t let us help….