During Difficult Transitions, Allow the Feelings


During Difficult Transitions, Allow the Feelings

This afternoon, on Your Caregiving Journey, Sheri Samotin of LifeBridge Solutions shared tips to help you, and your caree, manage a difficult transition. When abilities and capabilities decline, how do you manage the emotional reaction to your caree's decline? (You can listen to our show via the player at the bottom of the post.)

We discussed the importance of allowing space for you both to feel bad---or not---in your own way. (In this episode, we focused on carees who do not have a cognitive impairment.) Sheri explained the importance of avoiding assumptions and projections. When we assume, we jump to a conclusion about how a caree may feel about the decline. When we project, we turn our issues in our caree's issue.

When we assume and project, we run the danger of overstepping our emotional boundaries. We also can shut down honest and helpful dialogue.

Sheri suggested asking yourself these questions:

1. What scares me about this transition?

2. What could scary about this transition for my caree?

As you work through the difficult emotions of a tough transition, also ask yourself: What's the worst that could happen? And, then consider: What if the opposite were true?

Then, tackle this question: How can I plan to enable a better outcome?

Finally, dealing with caregiving transitions can feel like climbing an icy mountain. Share you concerns with your support system. Speak with a counselor or a life coach. And, provide the same opportunities for your caree to speak with a caring listener.

Program Note: G-J joins me tomorrow at 9 a.m. CT for Table Talk. You can listen live (and download the archive to listen later) here.