You’re doing so much, but somehow, it’s not enough. It’s never enough. At least in your own eyes. And frankly, you resent having to do it all, and STILL feeling like it’s not enough. This is what guilt feels like. Yes, what you FEEL and what you intellectually know you SHOULD feel may be two different things, but that doesn’t help, at least not if it’s just you trying to talk yourself down off the guilty ledge. Like a good friend, award-winning OK Now What? A Caregiver’s Guide to What Matters holds your hand and helps to talk you down. A book on caregiving may not be what you imagine to be a gift to yourself for the holidays, but trust me, you’ll be glad you read it. We know, because we’re heard from scores of people who have resisted it, then finally picked it up out of sheer desperation, and with a big sigh of relief, found what they needed inside. And, it’s easily packable. Shove it inside your pocket, purse or briefcase, and haul it out when you need a bucking-up.
Meanwhile, Caregiver.com offers a trenchant list of ways to assuage (and maybe expunge) your personal caregiver guilt, often born of resentment at the time, energy and attention it may take away from what you think you deserve to enjoy on this Hallmark-card-induced holiday.
Anyone who has dealt with caregiving, whether a professional, as with Sue Collins, RN, co-author of the award-winning book, OK Now What? A Caregiver’s Guide to What Matters (Head to Wind Publishing, $16) or a non-professional, has most likely experienced some kind of disagreement about the best way to go about it. Siblings, who nearly always also carry around a collection of well-worn emotional baggage, are particularly vulnerable to (and adept at) disagreements over caring for an aging parent, for example. Finances often play a part as do the imagined wishes of the parent (which is why it is so important to get the paperwork in order while everyone is still firing on all cylinders), and finally, who’s in charge. Add the stress of the holidays and you have a recipe for a family brawl.
For an accessible, common-sense solutions to these kinds of caregiving challenges wrapped up in a convenient form that you can gift to recalcitrant siblings, get the book: OK Now What? A Caregiver’s Guide to What Matters. amazon.com
People who are not in a caregiving situation, especially those who have never (or more likely not yet) experienced it, want to be sympathetic, want to help. But while you can accept their sympathy, even their help, there is nothing like talking with, being with, and sharing stories and tips with those who are currently in the same boat. Those people who are actively caregiving. Their situations may be slightly different from yours — their loved one has terminal cancer; yours is dealing with advanced Parkinsons disease, for example, or yours has Alzheimer’s while theirs has vascular dementia — they are in the trenches along with you. Seeking out those in similar current situations lets you know in a way that nothing else does: You are not alone!
The article (link below) details how caregivers can help support each other.
It’s sometimes very difficult to step back into a family when you’ve purposely separated yourself from them. When aging parents need help caring for themselves, but the relationship with them has been fraught and you or your siblings face making decisions when what you really want to do is hide from the whole thing to protect yourself, you have a few choices. OK Now What? A Caregiver’s Guide to What Matters (Head to Wind Publishing) offers succinct, practical suggestions for approaching this dilemma. The article ( link below) in caregiver.com offers much the same approach — helpful and practical without sidestepping the difficulties. It’s never easy, but remember: you’re not alone.
See the eight practical guidelines offered in the article.
Gary Barq’s memory of his Hungarian grandfather, who worked as a painting contractor in his own business until 80. When Gary’s grandfather developed Alzheimer’s the family who adored him, figured out a way to take care of him without destroying his dignity or their lives. It’s a touching story and one worth reading. “Ok, We Go Now” – Caregiver.com
You can get copies of OK Now What? A Caregiver’s Guide to What Matters (Head to Wind Publishing) through caregiver.com or through amazon.com.
So often, it’s coulda/shoulda with caregivers. No matter how much they do, they seem to feel as though it’s never enough– perhaps because our loving inclination is to try to heal or solve the problems our loved one is having. Even though we know that we can’t do it, there is always that nagging feeling that you might be able to if only you’d try harder, give up more of yourself, your life, found something — anything — that could do it. What we know in our mind is often at war with what we struggle with in our gut. It’s not healthy for either us or our loved one, and is, ultimately, not helpful to the situation. But even if you can’t completely dominate that nagging guilt, you can, with logic, persistence and support of those who have been there done that, assuage it.
2016 Friendly Caregiver Awarded book, OK Now What? A Caregiver’s Guide to What Matters (Head to Wind Publishing) offers suggestions for balancing guilt with reality.
I’ve never been a believer in thinking up New Year’s resolutions because for one thing, they’re usually the stuff I’ve been trying to accomplish or delete all year long, and stressing over it during the last few days of every year, when life is stressful enough, just seems counterproductive to me. Having said that, some of my friends make them, and find the annual deadline helpful. Some even achieve them! Today’s Caregiver Magazine (who gave us an award for our book — thanks thanks!) has the same kind of suggestions that we, and virtually every other person who has done/seen or been recruited into caregiving subscribes to. If you’re a January 1-resolution-person, AND are a caregiver (though many of them work just as well for those who are simply trying to improve our own lives and live the best way we can day by day), they’re spot-on.