Get Help So You Don't Miss Your Life


Get Help So You Don't Miss Your Life

MissAngie Angela and her mom.

This afternoon on Your Caregiving Journey, @angelaholmes (Angela) joined me to share her caregiving story. You can listen to our show via the player, below.

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?

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Hi--It's hard to figure out how to carve out time for yourself. Start small and work from there. Decide to give yourself an hour to go to your local library. Ask one of the librarians for recommendations of some new releases. Sit and read a magazine, check out some books. When you get home, you've got some good books to give you a break right there at home.\r\n\r\nYour sister needs to contribute to the household. If she's tight on time, then she can contribute with money so you can hire help for your grandmother or help for around the house (like a cleaning service). \r\n\r\nYou're not in this alone. You've got support here.