Long term elderly parent caregiver lessons learned
I have served as a caregiver for my elderly parents for the past thirteen years. And…continue to do so. As a result, there have been valuable long term elderly parent caregiver lessons learned.
My story echoes many others. While the melody may be unique to my circumstances, the chorus can be sung by many. The journey has been long and often challenging. Most of all though- it has taught me remarkable lessons.
Coaching other elderly parent caregivers allows me perspective. I now know there is a worldwide tribe of us doing this work. We share experiences, emotions and joys. And we live in a specific sphere unappreciated to those outside it.
While many clients initially approach this journey through doing, most find themselves learning through being. Here is a sample of the long term elderly parent caregiver lessons learned:
Elderly parent caregiver DOING
As a long term elderly parent caregiver I DO a LOT. Because there are numerous tasks to complete and problems to solve! As a result, I have learned the following doing lessons:
- Organization has kept me sane during the toughest times.
- Scheduling MY life first allows me to better accept the challenges.
- Problem solving provides my caregiving platform.
- Enlisting and arranging additional help keeps me afloat and at ease.
- Building and sustaining professional alliances creates a team. This includes doctors, pharmacists and caregiving agencies.
Each of these actions involves a dedication to task completion. However, it is in how we ARE- the BEING- that provides the lessons to best sustain us as long term elderly parent caregivers.
Elderly parent caregiver BEING
These are the most profound and valuable lessons I have gathered from my experience. It is how I chose to BE, that has allowed be to be at ease – and grateful – for my caregiving role. So….
- Working through loneliness and exhaustion with grit AND grace.
- Releasing those former friends who turned out to just be there for the fair weather. Sooner or later, everyone’s true colors are revealed. I really did “bless and release” them. It did take a while for the blessing part!
- Limiting “sharing” of my experience to under two minutes. Unless someone has been where you are , they do NOT get it. Whining ONLY makes it tough for YOU!
- Finding my go to people who “got” the challenges and helped me through things.
- Dispatching my sibling resentments who do not help with the heavy lifting.
- Discovering the art of acceptance. Due to acceptance, I found contentment.
- Being at ease as a long term elderly parent caregiver. It has been the most profound and valuable “being” of my life.
- Hiring my coach, Deb, turned the corner for me. She had been there!
Finally, I am content in my “now” and excited about my future. My next chapters will be written when my caregiving concludes. But, for now, I define my caregiving through the dual lens of grace and grit.
For more on this journey , take a look at http://gracefulgrit.com.
Contact me for some of the HOWS to achieve the above. You too can be at ease.