Like many caregivers, I have discovered NO cookie cutter formula for caregiving. I have learned (2004 Transitional Year to Care Facility Era) that answers and solutions are both as elusive and abundant as the love, creativity and resources of people thrust into caregiving roles.
An excerpt from Sheryl's journal:
“… I once had a caregiver tell me that she had given up her career to take care of her mother and that in the course of caregiving she had become a virtual prisoner in her house. Her mother could not be left alone and the daughter could not find the paid help she needed. ... There were very few workable options left but the caregiver hung on and on until the day she was diagnosed with a serious illness. …
All her life the mother had told her daughter “I’ll kill myself if you put me in a nursing home,” but within a few weeks she adjusted and eventually came to like her new caregivers and friends. My job shifted to consoling the caregiver for not doing it sooner.
The most loving option is to do what people need, not necessarily what they think they want. Keep in mind that placement is not the end of your caregiving career. The family caregiver can and should play an important role in providing the emotional, spiritual, and advocacy support …”
As Sheryl shared in a recent email to me, “Most people came to me seeking practical assistance but -- almost without exception -- eventually the conversation would turn to emotional and spiritual issues coming up along the way.”
Caregivingly Yours, J Patrick Leer
(also available in Blogger edition, Caregiver Blog: "Caregivingly Yours")