I talk a lot about the 12 life stages of a caregiver and the caregiving experience. Let’s take a look at 11 of them. Can you relate to the following?
Becoming a Caregiver
Many are thrust into caregiving out
of the blue. Now is the time to plan and adjust your mindset and your attitude
to prepare you for the road ahead.
Before you can take care of others, however,
you must take care of yourself. There are apps to help, holistic practices,
energy healing, and more; all striving to chill you out, help you take a
breath, and take care of you!
Making Life Easier
There is no need to go it alone when
caregiving. Leaning on others is one thing. But being efficient with your use
of time and technology can go a long way in helping.
This can include anything from organizing
tips around your lifestyle to making quick meals for you and your loved one.
The goal is to help you simplify your life and pay attention to what is
Once you have your health in order
and your plan in place, it is time to deal with family members. It could be involve
talking with your loved one about dementia, the desire to capture their life
story, or dealing with an estranged family member. Getting on the right page is
Legal and Financial Caregiving
Avoiding exploitation. Managing debt. Medicaid spend down. You can’t be a complete caregiver without managing the legal and financial minutia. And it’s better to do that when your loved one’s health is in order and your family is aligned with you in a plan.
Caregiving in the Workplace
Six out of 10 caregivers are in the
workforce, and the workforce culture has a long way to go in creating
supportive cultures for caregivers. That is why exploring the issues of ageism,
dealing with unsupportive co-workers, knowing your rights, and more is so
Not every caregiving situation is
about caring for an older person or even someone with dementia. It could involve
caring for an autistic child.
In any case, knowing the resources available
for your specific situation is key. Whether it’s online portals to local
support groups, now is the time to dig into the nitty gritty of caregiving.
Aging in Place
There is a progression in caregiver life
stages, which corresponds to a progression of possible living scenarios for
those for whom you care.
Ideally people want to age in their home. It may not be realistic for some, however. We have explored aging in place through several videos here on Sixty and Me. From technologies to strategies to finances and more, you can create a sensible plan for your loved one to stay where they are!
There may come a time when advanced
care is needed. It is never too soon to explore and understand the options in
senior housing, the acuity level they address, and how it is all paid for – one of the least understood topics
End of Life
Every caregiving situation ends. Are you prepared? Do you have advance directives in place? Are you considering hospice? Do you know what hospice care provides? Is your estate plan in order?
After the Caregiving Is Over
Have you thought about how your
purpose may change once you are no longer a caregiver? I never thought my
caring would end, but, in reality, it was just a short two-and-a-half-year
period. Then I had to get back to the business of my life and career. Now you
need to restore your joy and find new purpose.
Let’s Have a Conversation:
Which one of these stages are you in
currently? What do you find most difficult to do as a caregiver? Do you need
help managing your situation? Please share with our community.