My caregiving has ended.
Who are you?
Your role as caregiver ended more than two years ago. You find yourself compelled to make a difference in the lives of other caregivers. You share information readily with caregivers in the earlier stages, you start a business dedicated to helping family caregivers or you find a job in which you assist family caregivers. And, you treasure each relationship you have in your life, recognizing that each day, and your health, should never be taken for granted.
Your Keyword: Treasure
–Treasure your dreams;
–Treasure your challenges which led to your opportunities and new skills;
–Treasure your opportunities to share lessons learned;
–Treasure memories of your caree.
To integrate your former role as a caregiver into your new life
To implement your lessons learned from your role as caregiver, from your caree and from your family members and friends. During this stage, which can last as long you wish, even your lifetime, you reap the benefits of your efforts.
As a “Godspeed Caregiver,” what can you do?
1. Follow your dreams.
Make your goals a reality.
2. Family caregivers will look to you as a mentor and leader.
Allow caregivers in earlier stages the same freedom to stumble and steady themselves that you had. Share your experiences with expectant caregivers, freshman caregivers, entrenched caregivers and pragmatic caregivers. They can learn from you!
3. Treasure the memories you have of your caree.
Continue to remember your caree regularly through rituals, such as enjoying an ice cream cone in her honor on her birthday, or by planting trees in his honor. Reading and reviewing your diary will be a great way to remember.
Of course, your best memorial to your caree’s memory is a life you build for yourself filled with healthy relationships, productive careers and joy and laughter.
4. An apple a day…
Your apples kept you going. Now, consider how you’ll use them to create your future. How did your apples change? How did you change? What would you like to try next? Go for it. The world is your apple.
5. After Giving
Please join us at AfterGiving.com to share and connect with other former family caregivers adjusting to a life after caregiving.
Note: I have provided The Caregiving Years to be used strictly as a guide. All situations vary. I encourage you to always consult your health care professionals to discuss your individual situation and the best course of action for you and your caree.