This post made possible by Genworth Financial. Thoughts all brought to you by me!
Life can change in an instant, I know from experience. One day you (or someone you love) can be walking around healthy and fine and the next life has come at you hard. You are no longer able to care for yourself as you once had been. That was my life for several months during my senior year of high school. I was a passenger in a wreck that crushed my ankle, broke my pelvis, tore my shin to the bone, knocked out my front teeth, in a cast, confined to a hospital bed and wheel chair for two months. During that time I could do very little for myself. Aside from talking and feeding myself some things, I required a caregiver. Lucky for me it was my mom and my grandma. It gave me a new respect for people who do this for a living and for people who became caregivers due to something beyond their control.
As someone who had to be taken care of, I want to say thank you to all the caregivers out there who do what they do. I can’t honestly say I know what it’s like to do it full time, the closest I came to caregiving is taking care of my children but that’s completely different. I did, once, have to take care of my son who had knee surgery for 8 weeks and it was not easy, I can admit that freely. Will I have to become a full time caregiver at some point in life? I have no idea, but if I do I hope I can handle what comes my way like my mom and grandmother did with me. Whether I have to care for a child, a parent, my spouse, or a loved one I want to be prepared.
Several things that have crossed my mind as I think about the possibility of caregiving, things that I need to remember:
- Making sure my home is safe, in case I have to care for the person(s) here.
- Making sure I am educated in what I will need to do, though that would be based on each individual situation.
- Remember that if I am the primary caregiver, it’s okay to need (and ask for) help.
- Take care of myself. If I am not on the up and up how can I be expected to care for another.
- Remind myself that if it gets to be too much, that’s okay. Sometimes caregiving can turn into long term care (which we will talk about more next month) that is beyond what I can do.
- The cost of caregiving. This article “Caregiving For Parents: What It Can Cost” helps me put things in perspective. It obviously differs for each of us but it’s a good resource to look at.
Those are just a few things that I think about when I think about caregiving, should it come to that for me. I am so thankful and amazed by those who have committed their life to caregiving. Have you ever had to have someone be a care giver for you or be a caregiver yourself?