As Disability Awareness Month comes to a close in Indiana, I want to further discuss caregiving. As a caregiver, it is very easy to become so focused on your responsibilities and the person you are caring for that you ignore your own duties, health, friends, hobbies, etc. While this Caregiver’s To Do list was focused on senior care, it is still very pertinent to all caregivers at any stage in life. How do you find the time, the energy, or even the desire to pull yourself out of the caregiving for a short period to pursue these ideas?
- Always remember to take care of yourself.
- Remember to reward yourself.
- Have some personal time.
- When things don’t go the way you planned, get help.
- Last but not the least, protect your health.
This has been especially challenging for me these past two years with the pandemic. Balancing caregiving with family, friends, church, work, and hobbies is always difficult, but even more so with the pandemic’s stress, social distancing, masks, and limited public access. I know I am not as mentally, emotionally, nor physically healthy at this moment that I need to be the most effective caregiver I can be for Angie. These past few weeks, as the weather has warmed and the pandemic numbers have decreased dramatically, I feel I am coming out of a long fog. Time to find myself again and focus even more on my caregiver health. My friends and family have been so patient as Angie and I have walked through this, and really supported me emotionally and mentally. I am so thankful for all they have done.
Whether you are parent caring for a child with special needs, you are an adult taking care of aging parents, or you are a caregiver for a spouse with a chronic illness, I want you to encourage you to find those they can care for you as a caregiver. I empathize with you and want to be here for you as well. If you need to chat about your caregiving, life changes you have had to make, or just need a listening ear, please reach out.