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 family caregivers. You share information readily with family caregivers in the earlier stages. Perhaps you start a business dedicated to helping family caregivers or you find a job in which you assist family caregivers. Maybe you just make it habit to smile at everyone because you know you could be smiling at a family caregiver in need. You treasure each relationship you have in your life, recognizing that each day and your good 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 family 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 family caregivers in earlier stages the same freedom to stumble and steady themselves that you had. When they ask, share your experiences with those currently in a caregiving experience. When you can, listen to those family caregivers with understanding and empathy. Your ability to hear their experiences without judging those experiences will be an invaluable gift you give.
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.
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.
~ Our The Caregiving Years Tools, released with our eighth edition of The Caregiving Years handbook, help you find the answers and solutions right for you. Purchase The Caregiving Years PDF version to complement the tools. You also can purchase the paperback on Amazon by clicking below.
~ Your Tip Sheet: The Caregiving Years, Six Stages
~ Your Tip Sheet: The Caregiving Years, Your Steadies to Continue through The Caregiving Years
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.