For Angela, caregiving began at age four, when she helped her grandfather. She continued to help throughout high school, visiting her uncle, who had muscular dystrophy, until his death. She helped care for her grandmother, who died soon after her mom had a stroke. Her mom has lived with Angela, her husband and her two children for the past 15 years.
During our show, Angela shared that, during a recent visit, her sister told her she needed to have others help her. Because of that conversation, Angela asked her children to be more involved in caregiving. Turns out they were ready to help and had wanted to help but couldn’t because Angela kept doing everything herself.
When I asked Angela what advice and suggestions she would offer to a new family caregiver, she said: Don’t lose yourself, keep doing something that you love. Angela shared how, during a period in caregiving, she didn’t go out, telling herself that her friends wouldn’t want to hear about her mother and that she no longer had anything in common with them. She realized, though, that when she allows help, she gets a life.
She also had an insight about her mom–that her mom refused help when she was caring for her mother, Angela’s grandmother. Angela doesn’t want to miss out on her life because she doesn’t receive the help that’s available to her.
So: What help will you allow today?
- When Parenting and Caregiving Collide, Do You Let Your Kids Off the Hook? (caregiving.com)
- CareGifters: Giving to Casandra (caregiving.com)
- When You Give, You Give Hope (caregiving.com)
- How Do You Help Your Children Tell Their Caregiving Story? (caregiving.com)
- While We WAIT, A Cruising Conversation (caregiving.com)
- Dementia Care: What’s Your Best Coping Strategy? (caregiving.com)