Caregiving is a difficult, often thankless job. How we get that job can come on suddenly or gradually, but however and whenever we arrive there, we are going to need help.
Becoming a Caregiver is usually a gradual process, as the one you care for (often a spouse or parent) slowly declines and needs increasing care. You have time to accommodate, adjust, plan how to manage care. Oftentimes, especially if it’s a spouse, you ignore symptoms, not wanting to recognize them, until it becomes impossible not to. But eventually you do, and take on the role with resignation. With an elderly parent, signs of aging make you sad, but they are not totally unexpected, and your parents may have even planned and insured for the decline. Your caregiving role may be more about oversight and advocacy than day-to-day, in-home caregiving.
When the role of Caregiver is thrust upon you suddenly, as in a serious injury-causing accident or health incident such as a heart attack, short- or long-term care may be necessary, and it begins when you are a Care Director rather than a Care Giver. If its long-term, you will adjust accordingly, or place your Careé in a facility until and if they can come home again.
For most of is facing Caregiving, however and whatever the cause, we will be dealing with a slow decline, a downward spiral, a ‘tell death do us part’ progression. It means absolute changes our own lifestyle and personal health. And taking on that role will wreck havoc with our emotions.
Bottom line, you are going to need Caregiver Support. And, that starts with understanding and knowing your options and what resources are available.