Tell Us: What's Changed for You?

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Tell Us: What's Changed for You?

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I appreciate the answer to the question is "Everything." I'd love to know specifics.

How have your relationships changed? How has your outlook on your future changed? How have you changed? Which change has been the most difficult? Which change felt awful at first and now feels better?

Please tell us about your changes in our comments section, below. I so appreciate your willingness to share!

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Annamaria

“All great changes are preceded by chaos”\r\n1. Every relationship in my life has changed. I now know who I can depend on and who I cannot depend on. The right people stayed in my life and the wrong people left my life making it better. \r\n2. My outlook on my future has changed because I when caregiving ends I will know that I did everything I could and did my best everyday. I know that helping other caregivers will be a part of my future. \r\n3. The challenges of the caregiving years have made me a better person. I have dealt with so many outrageous things and solved so many problems that I know how to handle challenges and obstacles. Being able to transform so many situations into something better has become a strong part of my character. I have a lot more confidence these days and I don’t second guess myself as much as I used to. \r\n4. The most difficult change was letting go of my desire to have a relationship with my siblings and know that I don’t need their approval. \r\n5. Having to make difficult decisions for other people.

NurturingNet

For me it has been the realization of how vulnerable we all are to any kind of disruption (physical, mental or otherwise) in our lives. It has the effect of distilling what really matters - both for caree and for yourself. It can become all-consuming and forums like this help to remind me that I am not alone and that self-care matters. As RuPaul says \"If you can't love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love someone else?\" Plus, relationships matter - a lot.

CathyJ

This one takes some thought. The biggest and best change is my perspective on life and importance of taking time to count gray cars with my mom, put off cleaning the kitchen to work a puzzle with her, spending quiet time on the porch with my husband and truly valuing the gift of friendship and caring. I am a much simpler and more complete person and truly more at peace with myself and what matters. For the first time, I truly get it. I value the time with my husband in a deeper and richer way. I value and treasure the genuine, \"how are you?\" that I get from my caregiving chat family. I treasure the time with my mother.\r\n\r\nAnother change for me is that I don't have time or patience for the petty things anymore. I find myself less patient with things that, in my day to care caregiving world, are not critical and full of drama. I don't have time for drama.\r\n\r\nThe diagnosis of Alzheimer's for my mom was awful and frightening at first. I still hate the disease, but I am not in a panic like I was at first. I've found support here. I have learned about the disease. I have control and understanding of her medical plan. I feel empowered. Sad about the disease, but empowered to provide quality care for her. \r\n\r\nMy life goals have changed. My husband and I had plans for retirement and things we wanted to do. Those have changed or been put on hold. They may never be a true reality. Caregiving is costly, financially, emotionally, physically and time-wise. These are changes that we have no control over and we both would never consider not caring for my mother. But, it is a change that I don't know where it will take us.\r\n\r\nMy relationships have definitely changed. Social engagements and opportunities are limited. I have less contact with people. I have a few caring friends from my \"prior to cargiving\" life, who are here and support and stay engaged. But, the contact and opportunities to engage with friends is definitely less. My relationships with family are different. Some are stronger. Some are strained. You miss milestone family events. You miss school games or birthday parties. It altars, for me at least, the relationships. \r\n\r\nNone of us wanted to be in a caregiving role because it means we have a loved one who is in need of intense care. I am grateful for life and for the blessing of being with my mother and for a husband who loves us both unconditionally. For me, that is the biggest change...the amazing gift of love and truly recognizing it and living in the moment with it. I don't take the moments for granted anymore.