While writing a number of blog posts about how to reduce caregiver stress, I discovered I needed to follow my own advice.
My 88-year-old Aunt Jean fell a few weeks ago and injured her knee, which has made it impossible for her to go to meals and participate in activities in her retirement facility. Since I can’t bear for her to be alone in her apartment all day, we are now going to see her daily instead of once or twice a week.
Although my husband is recovering from his back surgery, he still needs a lot of my time and attention. I promised to set aside at least one hour every day to walk with him, on top of finding the time to fix three three meals a day, do the laundry, pay the bills, etc., etc. In addition, we have five kids who live close by and lots of grandkids. I also have my work.
Lately I’ve been waking up in the morning with the awareness that no matter how how hard I try, I just do not have enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to be done. Something has to give. Like most other caregivers, it is not physically or emotionally possible to meet all of the demands of my family, friends and work. I realized I needed to simplify some of my processes and get help in order to reduce my own caregiver stress.
This last weekend I hired a daughter-in-law who is committed to being a stay-at-home mom to help me with my speaking business, website maintenance, and the distribution of my training courses. While I’m training Nellie (and learning to let go) I won’t have the time to write a new blog every morning, so I’m going to simplify my Word of the Day by sharing my caregiver survival training videos with you. Tomorrow we’ll start with the Caregiver Guilt videos.
Today I hope you will think about what you can do to lighten your work load and reduce your own caregiver stress. If you can let go of feeling like you have to do it all, it could simplify your life, which will make continuing to care for those who cannot care for themselves a little bit easier.