My Concrete Dove exists to help other family caregivers escape the overwhelm and learn to smile again.
Hey Cargiveing Friend,
How do you feel about spending time on hold? The cheesy music. The recorded message droning on in a continuous loop sometimes even includes the apology for making you wait (gee, thanks).
Well, that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m on hold, and since I’ve got a minute (or 30 and counting), I thought I’d check in with you. It’s been a while, but I promised fewer than normal emails this summer, and that is what I delivered (or didn’t, if you catch my drift).
So, how is your summer going? Did you get to the beach yet? I hope so. Maybe a ride in the country is your thing, or the mountains (it’s probably cooler there).
Maybe a barbeque or two? They’re always fun and filled with all the tasty summer salads and grilled delights, not to mention friends and family.
Whatever you are doing, I hope you are having a good summer, with as few disruptions as possible (except the good kind, of course). And if summer isn’t going great, please let me know how I can pray for you.
Now, I think it’s safe to say that we could all do with fewer unwanted disruptions. I know I would. But things happen, like:
A trip to the ER
A hospital stay
COVID-19 or one of the variants (ugh!)
Caregiving, just like parenting, it’s loaded with disruptions. Someone always needs something, and by the time you’ve done all the to-do’s, you’re too tired to do the things you wanted to do (Whew--that’s way too many to-do’s).
Well, here are a couple of ways to prepare yourself to absorb those unwanted disruptions without putting every other part of your life on hold.
Because taking preventive action now will help you later.
Keywords – prepare & prevent.
Make a habit of scheduling your stuff first.
Your stuff means the stuff that's just for you. Read, write, or do your nails. It doesn’t matter, as long as it’s for you and not related to caregiving.
Make it something that you can do at home so you can get right to it.
Be present in the moment, paying attention to how you're feeling during this time. Be mindful of what you are seeing, tasting, smelling, and feeling. Let it sink in.
For example, I set my alarm to get up before my sister. Then I use that time to read my bible, journal, and spend some quiet time with the Lord.
And if I still have time left, I’ll do a little gardening before the sun takes over my backyard.
Get someone to cover for you regularly.
I get it. Finding a hired caregiver, a friend, or a family member willing to take over caregiving while you step away can be a challenge, but it’s a game-changer. So, try.
Caregivers (and parents) can benefit from the time off, even if only for a little while.
And it gives us something to look forward to and that, my friend, is hope.
Look into third-party private pay agencies. They can be a bit pricey. But, if you have the means, your return will far outweigh your investment.
IMPORTANT – Your loved one may be eligible for respite care, so check with your local Department of Health & Human Services, the local Area Agency on Aging, or a community mental health organization. They should be able to help answer questions or point you in the right direction.
Making time to step away from caregiving is essential. We need time to not think about caregiving. To pause and enjoy the moment we’re in right now.
Then when the disruption comes (and it will), we’re better able to handle it, or at least not freak out. And that’s progress for some of us (hmmm…I wonder who that might be).
Still on hold…(while tap, tap, tapping my fingers on my keyboard)
We never want to experience an unwanted disruption, but it's going to happen anyway. So, instead of waiting and taking our chances, why not take steps to "prepare and prevent" now? Then, the next unwanted disruption might not be so disruptive.
It won't be easy but, if we put in the work, we just might be able to rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and be constant in prayer (Romans 12:12). And that’s much better than freaking out, don’t you think?
I hope this helps.
Would you consider taking at least one of these preventive actions? Hit reply and let me know.
Be happy in your hope, stand your ground when you’re in trouble, and devote yourselves to prayer.–Romans 12:12 (CEB)
𝒴𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝒞𝒶𝓇𝑒𝑔𝒾𝓋𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝒞𝑜𝓂𝓅𝒶𝒹𝓇𝑒,
Making your family caregiver’s life just a little bit easier. I hope this helps.🙂
PS If you value this newsletter and find it helpful, please share it with a friend.
PPS Please, save my email address in our contacts, so future emails don't get lost in spam or junk folders.
Warren, MI 48092
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