The longer we care for loved ones, care evolves from a handful of things to take care of, to a significant number. Easy to get overwhelmed in the rush, right?
Once we’ve gotten past that adrenaline rush of finding ourselves in a position we never expected to find ourselves, and handling all of the crises that accompanied this transition, we begin a reflection on our circumstances.
“Where am I?”
These transitional events have changed you. (I always think of them as the unadvertised growing up stage.) The minute you took those steps to help Mom, Dad, or whoever this important person in your life is, you passed a point in which you do not get to go back.
No doubt that you did the right thing and no doubt that your work has now begun.
Reflection on these events and where you currently find yourself bring you to the “What now?” question.
Remember the KISS Principle? (Keep It Simple, Stupid) This really works!
You are going to have lots of demands on your organizational skills in the coming days, weeks, etc. Doctors’ appointments, pharmacy management, bathing and self-care, and a multitude of other minutiae that are so essential to the proper care of your loved one but don’t let them distract you from why you are really here.
The KISS aspect is that you don’t forget to be present to your loved one. Yes they need all those things around them taken care of but they also need you to be with them.
Sometimes we just need to sit with our charge and not try to “fix” anything with them for a while. (We are doing plenty of that already.)
I found that some of the most profound communication I ever shared with loved ones were in moments of quiet reflection. Neither of us spoke, yet we said so much to each other.
So as you get caught up in the details of caring for your loved one, be sure to unplug from the details of their situation and just be present with them awhile. It is a special form of communication that helps them and reminds you that you are doing all of the right things, for all the right reasons.