One Step at a time
Baby steps are a fun and exciting time. I remember some of my son’s first steps were when he let go of the sheet I was trying to hang on the line and he just kept going! When we are caring for someone at home sometimes we can’t find the end of the sheet to let go of to step away from all we do every day.
Experience has shown me often it isn’t that caregivers don’t ask for help, more often than not after the initial crisis, others stop coming around and/or there really isn’t anyone to ask. So how do you meet a need then? What’s a small step towards help?
You get clear on what the need is, then be open to how that need is met may not look as you initially expected. It’s never too early in the care to seek help from area services and professionals. Have the friend who IS willing to help make phone calls to your local senior community services for a wealth of information that leads you to the next step. Free outreach programs are designed to provide residents with information about aging services and programs such as home delivered meals, respite care, home care, and adult day care, as well as support services for caregivers.
One of the free services in our area is called Seniors First. They sponsor a program called Friendly Visitors. They are not about direct care, but about offering companionship for your loved one: sitting and reading out loud, taking them to a dog park, sometimes even a movie. This might give you the opening to get to a caregiver group for yourself.
No one will ever care for your loved exactly like you do. Trust that there are those who can and will help. Bring about what it means and what it takes for both of you to have the connection of stimulation and friendships of others around you to feel heartened in all that you do. I see that caregivers who can find connection and humor to keep problems in perspective have a better handle claiming the daily plan that helps you each navigate changes throughout this journey.
What’s one way you take care of yourself? Please share your thoughts with us.