If you are a caregiver for someone who is aged, chronically ill or disabled, no doubt you have already struggled with trying to figure out how to adapt to change in a variety of areas. As you go forward there will be more changes, and many of them will be unwelcome. As caregivers, we can either accept, adapt and adjust to change, or we can choose to enter into a state of denial, stick our heads in the sand and pretend that everything is going to work out just fine. The problem with denial is that pretending a problem doesn’t exist never makes it go away.
So if you want to be in a position to control how you will survive the physical, mental, emotional and financial stress of caregiving, your first step will be to get prepared. Start with writing down the things that concern you, such as:
1. If your care receiver’s condition worsens, will you be physically capable of continuing to care for him/her?
2. If it becomes impossible for them to stay in their current home, what are the alternative choices?
3. Is there enough money to pay for care in an assisted living or memory care community?
4. Do you have the essential end-of-life documents in place?
5. If something should happen to you, who will take care of them?
Helping someone you love through the final stages of life is difficult. You have to make a lot of very difficult decisions while simultaneously trying to adjust to ongoing losses and changes. Nothing about this is simple, fun, or easy, but getting prepared will help you pull your head out of the sand and approach change with a sense of confidence and control.