Family caregivers are the glue holding many aging families together, providing care that – for many of our senior loved ones – is truly irreplaceable.
You are doing work that brings you rewards beyond measure, self-fulfillment and joy that is priceless.
But not everyday… some days are challenging, as we all know so well. At times it feels like there are only some days that aren’t a challenge.
In the long run, though, the small bumps in the road will be forgotten and the memories of smiles, thanks, and purpose will come over you like an avalanche!
Personal Experience as a Family Caregiver
I have been and still am a family caregiver. I have of course raised children including one who needed more advocacy and support than the average child and I have the reward of knowing I did all I could and more. My special child has grown and achieved more than anyone could have predicted and has made us all proud!
I have been a caregiver to family members we loved dearly. I worked hard to meet their needs expressed, unexpressed and at time refused. I visited frequently to be sure they were well and taking care of themselves as well as being safe even when my children and my job needed my attention. I did tasks around their house, checked the car for damage, cooked meals for them, tried to entertain them and encouraged them as much as possible in doing all that they were capable.
I and my family, because we were the only ones nearby, reported back to other family members and supervised their aging. I grieved greatly over their loss as well and advocated for them even afterwards.
Professional Caregiver Too
I am also a professional caregiver who strives daily to meet the needs of my “family” members and exceed their expectations. I see all those that I care for as my grandparents and have a passion to treat them like I would want my own grandparents treated, with dignity and respect. I interact with their loved ones and update them on their day to day activities. I try to keep them well while maintaining their quality of life.
I tell you this about me because I walk in the shoes in which you now walk or have walked — and more than likely will walk in the future. I understand what you are going through each day — good and bad.
I know all too well the stress of family caregivers, the urge to do it all for them, to be there every minute and be filled with guilt when I cannot be there, to spend all my money on whatever they need or want, and to devote my time to just being there. It can take a toll on a caregiver physically and mentally at times.
Thank You, Family Caregivers!
I regret not one millisecond of the time I spent caring for my children, my family members and my adopted family (those for whom I care while at work). I reap untold rewards from their smiles and hugs and the knowledge that I am making a difference in their lives at the end of their lives. I know they care for me too!
To all those who are family caregivers as well: I want to thank you for all the care you provide, whether you ever receive a “thank you” spoken from your loved one — I realize you may not. Just look into their eyes and you will hear it!
Celebrate Family Caregivers Month with a pat on the back, a moment of relaxation and a hug from someone you love!
Thank you for all you do!