Caregiver Survival Tip #7
Develop an Interesting Diversion

woman_computer_work_station_1600_clr_7855When you are caring for someone who has a cognitive impairment, a chronic medical condition or a disability that limits their mobility, your freedom to come and go is restricted. You can end up spending the bulk of your time at home with your care receiver. No matter how much you love one another, it would be nearly impossible to keep each other intellectually stimulated and entertained.

Today I would like to suggest you turn off the TV and turn on to something new that will provide you will an interesting diversion. My mother wrote letters. I write a blog. I have a niece who makes adorable little clay figurines. My friend Judy knits. The activity isn’t as important as the pleasure and sense of accomplishment you derive from doing it.

As we’ve been counting down the days to my husband’s back surgery, his pain level has increased and his balance and mobility has steadily decreased. All of the things we’ve done before to keep ourselves occupied and entertained are not an option right now. Alex now spends a lot of time in his chair reading and napping, and I’m spending a lot of time at my computer trying to educate myself on social media. Until this week, I only knew how to post my Caregiver Word of the Day and connect with people on LinkedIn. I have resisted learning more, because I didn’t want it to take over my life.

I have come to the conclusion, though, that I had better get on board. I’m not young, but I’m not old enough to say I don’t need to know these things. I want to communicate with people, and in order to do that I have to learn the language of social media. Earlier this week I figured out how to send daily emails to people who follow this page so they are guaranteed to receive it every day. During that process, I also learned that when I hit the “auto post to Facebook” tab that my photos no longer show up on the page. I also accidentally sent the same message to my newsfeed at least four times when the post didn’t show up on the page.

During this process I have made a lot of mistakes. I will make more, but eventually I will get it figured out. I will become comfortable with the technology. I may even become proficient, but for now it’s filling my hours. It’s keeping my mind and my hands busy. It’s giving me something interesting to talk about with Alex. It’s an interesting diversion. I hope you can find one too.