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Control or Lack Thereof!
One of the more challenging aspects of aging, illness, and caregiving is lack/loss of control. Granted, we like to believe we are in control. We love the illusion of control. But the reality is this—there are some things beyond our control. So, focus your time, attention, and energy on aspects of the journey you can affect. You and yours will be much better served in the long run.
Everything is Temporary
As we all know, the journey of caregiving is comprised of twists and turns, ups and downs, joys and sorrows. Dealing with the changing landscape is challenging indeed. Perhaps by realizing that everything is temporary, we would be more tolerant of the bad times and more appreciative of the good times. A perspective certainly worthy of consideration.
Stress Is Part of the Journey
Let’s be honest. The journey of caregiving can be stressful for everyone involved. Caring for family members or friends can be physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually, and psychosocially. And similarly, being cared for by family members and friends can be stressful. Stress is an inherent part of the journey of caregiving. So, we are wise to understand the concept of stress, potential sources of stress, and the consequences of unmitigated stress. By so doing, perhaps we’ll be...
Got Guilt? If you are like most caregivers, you probably feel a wee bit guilty taking a little time for yourself. Right? Today, I would like to address the issue of guilt in the context of caregiving. Caregiving is hard enough without adding the extra burden of guilt. Perhaps by recognizing the common sources of guilt, we can begin to intentionally lighten the load.
Attitude is Everything
Our ability to successfully navigate the rough waters posed by life depends on our attitude. Viktor Frankl taught an entire generation that we cannot control everything that happens in life. However, we always have the freedom to choose an attitude in response to life. And that choice ultimately determines our experience of life. Do you choose to be a victim of life and succumb to the perceived inequities? Or, will you courageously accept the reality of your situation and seek life-giving...
The Blessings of Boundaries
Boundaries are necessary behavioral constructs if we are to have healthy relationships with other people. We need to be aware of where we end and the other person begins. Boundaries serve to protect both persons, honoring and respecting each individual. Well-conceived and well-managed boundaries are ultimately a blessing to all involved in the journey of caregiving.
The Wisdom of Geese
For most people rooted in Western culture, it is difficult to ask for and receive help from other people. However, the reality is that we will all need help due to the challenges posed by aging and/or illness. So, how are we to overcome our resistance to assistance? Well, our friend the goose has much to teach us about giving and receiving care. Look to the skies. As geese fly in formation, they embody the essential ingredients of collaborative care: shared leadership, interdependence,...
Hospice and Palliative Care
Today, I want to chat about a philosophy and model of health care that offers tremendous hope to patients and families confronted by the daunting challenges of chronic and/or terminal illness—palliative care—an unfamiliar term for most folks. But you’ve probably heard of hospice care, right? Well, hospice is a specific type of palliative care. Now I realize the word “hospice” may have you reaching for the mute button. The idea of hospice - end of life care—is frightening to most people....
Long-distance caregiving is a concern for millions of families throughout the nation. Due to the mobile nature of our society today, most families are geographically dispersed—scattered to the four winds! Hence, long-distance caregiving has been, is, or will be a concern for an increasing number of families in the United States. So, we need to plan accordingly by taking into account the additional complexities of caring from afar.