Tell Us: What Has Caregiving Disrupted for You?


Tell Us: What Has Caregiving Disrupted for You?

A caregiving experience is a disruptive one. You're on a path that gets detoured by your caregiving experience.

Your career, finances, family, hobbies, friendships, relationships and future take a left turn when caregiving enters the equation. I'd love to know: What's been disrupted for you? What stopped or slowed or perhaps went backyard? Please tell us about the disruptions that have been difficult as well as the disruptions that have been positive.

Share how caregiving has disrupted your life in our comments section, below.

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big mama

I have read the comments_mysql below. I can surely understand. My care giving situation is in its beginning stages. My mother has lived with us for 5 years. The last year has been intensified due to falling issues...broken bones and surgeries. All her care is up to me, unable to leave her alone due to the balance issues. I do have help come in once a week to give us a break. My husband was supportive in the beginning, but now sees that he has also given up his life, his freedom and his dreams for retirement due to me being tied down to the care of mom. We have been married for 51 years and are at the point of separating. How do you chose between you mother and your husband?


I have been caregiving in one form or the other for 16 years. My parents moved around the corner from us so that I could help them when needed. This meant that I have not attended family gatherings for 16 years. Thanksgiving and Christmas were spent here with my mother and father and my husband and, at times, my son. If I did not stay my parents would have no one to have a family holiday with so I chose to stay rather than travel and leave them alone. The other side of this coin is that I don't really want to go to family gatherings that much. I just want to be able to should I decide to go...especially since my grandson has gotten old enough to enjoy them. That is enough about the holidays because I get in a funk if I discuss missing Christmas with my daughter's family all of those years. \r\nThen my husband was diagnosed with FTD and my world gradually took on a dimension for which I was completely unprepared. My father had passed away by the time my husband was showing overt symptoms.My mother was here. Before too long I found myself caretaking two people who had problems with memory, gait stability, apathy towards me and a need to have some measure of care each day. \r\nI retired five years ago. I worked outside the home in a part-time job and then moved to working from home. I gave up that job when my husband needed me and in ways that we could not predict. My mom needed me for company and to make sure she was doing o.k. each day. \r\nCurrent mother has moved to the mountains to be near my sister. I stay home or no more than 15 minutes from home on a daily basis. My body clock has adjusted for up and down and does not do well when asked to perform on a regular basis.\r\nCaregiving has disrupted my selfish and child-like perceptions of love and robbed me of my need to be right or to even know which direction we are headed until we are confronted with a new challenge or more of the old one. Caregiving has taken my belief that I can do anything and all by myself and shown me that I don't even want to do this journey alone. I \r\nWell, my brain just took a hike. Good night!


With DH's diagnosis, we have shared many of the same areas of disruption in our lives: forced into early retirement, limited financially , downscaling & moving, loss of long term friendships & connections; plans to travel put on hold indefinitely, like Michelle mentioned it has \"robbed us both of our ability to be the involved grandparents\" we would like to be. On a positive note, the disruptions have brought new opportunities. Disruptions have shown us we are resilient, creative & persevere through whatever disruption comes our way. As much as disruptions have brought frustrations and challenges to our relationship, our love has only grown stronger.


Two of the biggest negative disruptions: isolation and financial strain. \n\nOn the positive side (full disclosure: I'm writing this post-caregiver): I'm so much more spontaneous now. I've always been a planner and of course that skill came in handy as a caregiver. What I had to learn was how to deal with all the stuff this Type A couldn't plan -- to roll with the punches at a moment's notice. It's made me so much more spontaneous post-caregiving.\n\nAlso positive: I feel like a kinder, more patient person. We always joked about me being the pragmatic, no-nonsense one and my husband being the sentimental one. I'd jokingly say to him \"Don't get all Hallmark on me, dude!\" But caring for my husband brought out a softer side of me. Even my dad (gotta love the guy, he calls 'em like he sees 'em) said to me \"You know, you were a lot nicer taking care of him than I thought you'd be.\" Lol. \n\nAnd finally: I'm not afraid of anything anymore. Fear used to rule me so absolutely. Now I just feel as though I've already been through the worst thing that could happen to me and I'm still in one piece, so I figure I can get through whatever comes down the road in the future.

daffy don

Lets go with the positive. My sweet Elsie (when the end was weeks away) said that she wanted just me alone to go the final mile with her. She trusted me alone to oversee her final days and moments. It was a trust hard won over 37 years filled with fun and joy. It was her final gift to me that I will treasure forever as I live the rest of my life happy, joyous, and free as she wanted. Our final Honeymoon has ended. I don't know where I am headed, but I am not afraid, that is the gift I give back to her memory.

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