How Do You Manage Caregiving’s Slooooow Motion?

Holly with her husband, Dave.

Holly with her husband, Dave.

Yesterday, on Your Caregiving Journey, Holly, who cares for her husband, joined me for our monthly chat on Table Talk. You can listen to our show via the player below.

Holly updated us on Dave’s condition; she shared a few tough moments during the holidays and Dave’s need for more help. She also told us how slow Dave moves.

It’s what every family caregiver experiences–a caree that literally moves in slow motion. It’s one of the ways caregiving tests your patience, as you watch your caree butter toast (as Holly shared) or get dressed (as @Trish spoke about in the chat room).

So, I’d love to know: How do you manage caregiving’s slow motion? When your caree moves slow, how do you keep from screaming? How do you not pull your hair out? How do you refrain from stepping in to do for your caree rather than having your caree do for him or herself?

Please share your experiences in our comments section, below.

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About Denise Brown

I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues. I've written several caregiving books, including "The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey," "Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers" and "After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again." You can purchase my books and schedule a coaching call with me in our store.

2 thoughts on “How Do You Manage Caregiving’s Slooooow Motion?

  1. Avatar of TrishTrish

    In answer to your questions, Denise: It’s tough not to pull my hair out/scream/step in. It is definitely an exercise in testing my patience. I actually could write a whole blog post about this topic (which I will) but I’ve found a few things that help. The adaptive clothing from Buck & Buck ( has been a huge help. Their clothes are nice but have velcro closures (which you can’t even see). Robert has been very willing to try these new clothes which is really saying something considering he has a difficult time changing any routine. He also has elastic shoelaces which stay tied so he can keep wearing the type of shoes he likes yet it makes them, basically, slip-ons. I let him go at his own pace unless we have an appointment to get to or he’s sick and then I give him extra help. I’m always trying to find the balance between independence and getting things done.

    Thanks to @Holly for the show and to the others in the chat room. It’s always a great show! Thanks, @Denise!

  2. Avatar of ejourneysejourneys

    Loved the show — though I was sorry to hear of Dave’s further decline. Finding distractions for myself has been key: meditating, playing music in my head, whipping out my journal to write in — and now reading on my e-reader, which is great for passing waiting time because the reading is something I want to do anyway.

    It’s toughest for me when my partner goes into her rants, not least because they keep covering the same ground over and over. But I can close my eyes, breathe deeply, and play music in my head; it doesn’t seem to register with her. That way I can support her need to express what she needs to without letting it drive me (too) nuts.


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