Caregiver Tips: When the terrible-twos resurface at 80

Caregiver Tips: When the terrible-twos resurface at 80

I got this message yesterday:

“I looked at the CaringWise website. It looks good. I hope it's working for you. Do you offer a service where stevedores go over to an old geezer's house and slap them silly, yelling, "Be NICE!  Your family is only trying to HELP you!!"

I'd pay extra for that.”

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Ditching the Emotional Baggage: Grief

Ditching the Emotional Baggage: Grief

Death causes humans to mourn. And illness brings with it a million deaths, a million tiny losses both visible and invisible, long before the final death. You have to quit taking long walks after dinner. The beloved deep-throated laugh has been replaced by a rasp. That long-anticipated trip back to the homeland will never happen.

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Ditching the Emotional Baggage: Defensiveness

Ditching the Emotional Baggage: Defensiveness

You are juggling 4,569 metaphoric balls. You are keenly aware of how many of them you are dropping. You haven’t slept in weeks. And so the mere suggestion that you might be able to improve any aspect of your caregiving—even if that suggestion is something as innocuous as getting some help—tends to trigger a stalwart defense mechanism.

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Ditching the Emotional Baggage: Resentment

Ditching the Emotional Baggage: Resentment

Being a caregiver interferes with every aspect of your so-called normal life. And just like toddlers and teenagers who rail against their freedoms being curtailed, we resent this intrusion. Oh, maybe not at first, especially in a crisis-caregiving situation. But soon enough, when the adrenaline has worn off and all we can see is an endless hijacking of our lives.

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Ditching the Emotional Baggage: Loneliness

Ditching the Emotional Baggage: Loneliness

Caregiving, by its very nature, is isolating. It takes you out of your normal routine, your normal social activities, your normal exercise circuit, often even away from your normal work. Instead, you spend increasing amounts of quality time with your loved one—and in the waiting rooms of doctors everywhere.

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Ditching the Emotional Baggage: Guilt

Ditching the Emotional Baggage: Guilt

I don't know a single caregiver who isn’t drowning in guilt. They forgot to do something. They remembered, but couldn't get to it. They got frustrated and said the wrong thing. They kept a lid on their emotions and didn’t say anything. They’re doing a great job with the caregiving, but have totally neglected their work, their family, their friends (err…and themselves?). They are letting some of the caregiving fall to others—PAID people!! Caring for Mom!—when they should be doing it all themselves.

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