Taking Care of the Caregiver: Suggestions and Tips in Three Main Areas of the Caregiving Process
This book is about what I’d considered the three main areas of being a caregiver. Area one is the actual caring for an ailing loved one. Area two is about connecting with your ailing loved one. And area three is about taking care of you, the caregiver. For, without you, your loved one may not receive the love and care they deserve. More
This book is the companion to My Parent has Dementia, Our Family’s Story from Pre-Illness to Heaven. In the main book, I go through the story of my parents who both needed to be taken care of near the end of their lives.
Being a caregiver is a life changing event. It’s essentially a second full time job. And it’s an ongoing challenge. It had been exhausting at times. Other times, there might have been a glimpse of hope which had elated us; rejuvenating our efforts. But most of all, it had been a learning experience. And, from all of it, we’d been changed forever.
In taking care of our Mama, we had learned some very important things. There had been the actual taking care of her. Those aspects had included things like making the house more wheelchair friendly and being safety conscious. There’d also been pieces like keeping organized and tag-teaming for coverage.
Then we had been creative in such areas as finding ways to keep her interactive and help her brain stay as sharp as possible. We had learned exercises to do with her to help her body and motor skills. And, of course, we’d engaged support from the grandkids and pets to help keep her smiling!
We had learned to do things we likely never thought we’d do like giving shots to someone else, taking care of wounds, or lifting our mother into a car. There had been fights with insurances and the seemingly never ending medication changes with their added costs and mysterious side effects.
Lastly, we had learned the importance of taking care of ourselves. If we weren’t healthy or were too exhausted, we hadn’t been able to take care of Mama with her needs. All of us had full time jobs while we’d been taking care of Mama. So we’d had to be sure to take care of ourselves.
In this companion book, I want to share things we had learned, tried, and done. I’m not a doctor or professionally trained caregiver. My siblings and I had taken care of our mother completely and virtually without assistance. However, we had asked a lot of questions and taken advantage of assistance during certain times, when we’d been able to. And the goal of this book is to hopefully help other people and family members who have taken on the task of being a care giver to a loved one.
In the main book, My Parent has Dementia, Our Family’s Story from Pre-Illness to Heaven, I describe in detail the process we had gone through from the start of Mama’s illnesses until she’d gone to Heaven and my journey through loss and back to life again. This book takes the pieces of the process we’d used to help Mama be with us as long as possible and at her best as long as possible.
Dementia, or any terminal disease or disorder, can be such a harsh, inexplicably cruel lot in life to experience. Once a disorder like dementia enters your life, it is there to stay. And it doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care your race, creed, economic status, gender or anything else.
In helping a loved one with a vicious disorder such as dementia, I’d been filled with great compassion with an even greater appreciation for life. But it can feel like you are walking that road alone. I assure you, you are not alone and hopefully, in this book, you may find some of the answers you are looking for.
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