When you become a caregiver it is usually after some emergency has occurred that leaves you no choice, but to step in and take over. You may have been living in denial and suddenly you’re punched in the throat with the reality of your situation. Now, you are looking at life in the slow lane as you try and juggle your already chaotic life with the needs of your loved one.
It can be very overwhelming and that is totally normal. There are still days after all of this time when I feel overwhelmed. With a little organization and some proper planning, you can do it. I’ve created a list of things that you are going to need in your journey.
- BALL OF STEEL – eventually I will change my mother’s diaper. Enough said.
- A SENSE OF HUMOR – we’ll probably laugh about it because laughter is always better than tears.
- NEIGHBORHOOD LIQUOR STORE – only then will I visit the neighborhood liquor store.
- A MIND LIKE A STEEL TRAP – I can’t help you here. I’m pretty much screwed myself.
- BIG GIRL PANTIES – See A. above.
- HEART OF GOLD – You can get through anything with enough love.
- THICK SKIN – At times they will hate you for it.
- PATIENCE GALORE – At other times you’ll hate them for it.
- SPLIT PERSONALITY – Spreading yourself around when there’s not much left to give.
- FLEXIBLE (Like Stretch Armstrong) – Be able to think on your feet and change plans on a dime.
The point of this list is to show you that no matter what, keep your sense of humor. It will get you through many dark days.
The feelings of:
- I’m all alone and have no one to help me.
- I don’t know what I’m doing.
- I’m the only one in the world stuck in this situation.
- I don’t have time to do anymore.
Are only words and as we learned as children words will never hurt you. If you let those get in your way then you are doomed before you even begin. Instead, use words like these.
- I need to set up a support system. Find out who is willing to help me.
- I have a list of resources that I can turn to when I need information.
- I have a community of other caregivers who know exactly what I’m going through.
- I have a routine and a schedule and it keeps me focused and on point.
Caregiving is the hardest job you will ever have. The more prepared you are the easier your job will be. I hope you take advantage of all of the resources that I’ve put together here on T.D.A.C. Here is a list of other resources that are available to you.
- Alzheimer’s Association
- Alzheimer’s Reading Room
- Alzheimer’s Foundation
I’ve created a list of do’s and don’ts for communicating with someone who has Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementia. Sign up for my newsletter and get full access to all of the resources inside our brand new Resource Library!