Family caregivers of seniors may not always get to fulfill the dreams or plans they had before tasks of providing care filled their days.
Living life to the fullest, so that you can say there were no regrets when someone is no longer with you or you become physically unable to fulfill your dreams, is something we all need to consider, especially family caregivers.
Many times our dreams get interrupted when older loved ones’ needs begin to take precedence over our desires.
Have you seen your family recently, especially extended family who live at a distance?
Have you visited the one place you have always wanted to go, such as the Grand Canyon or the Eiffel Tower?
Have you experienced something you have yearned to do such as bungee jumping or swimming with dolphins?
Along the same lines, have your senior loved ones completed the things in their lives that they wanted to do?
We learn in the blink of the eye that a life can change, whether it is your senior loved one or you as family caregiver.
We can lose a beloved member of the family too soon.
We can experience a trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident, that can forever change our lives.
Our senior loved one can fall and get an injury that limits their mobility and changes the way they wish to age in place.
This action could change our lives as family caregivers too!
For Our Seniors
If you are a family caregiver and want to help your senior live with no regrets, the time is now to discuss with them what they have a yearning to do.
- Will they want to have a family reunion before they can no longer travel?
- Do they want to host the next big holiday dinner using their fine china serving their favorite holiday foods?
- Do they want to visit someplace special like Alaska?
You will only know what they desire if you talk it over. You will probably have to ask them specific questions to get the answers you need.
Once you have answers to the questions, is there some way that you can be the organizer of their dreams to make them become reality?
Can you contact all the distant family, make the plans to get everyone together, and help host an event?
Sure, it could be a bit of effort, which is probably why your senior desires it to occur now. It probably has been awhile since a get together has occurred, just because no one really wanted to do it before due to the time involvement making it happen.
However, if your senior or another family member should pass unexpectedly, you will all be eternally grateful that someone took the initiative to reach out and make the arrangements to bring everyone together one last time.
The memories made during this final event will be held dear for years to come.
Act Against Regret
Too often we regret we didn’t take enough photos, visit with each other often enough, call to say hello, or talk to our senior loved ones about their life stories.
Wouldn’t you love to know what your senior was like growing up, what their first job was like, or how far they had to walk to get to school in the worst weather?
Recording their life stories using video and audio is a gift that will keep on giving once they are no longer with you.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t think about actually taking the time to do this until it is too late — thus regret!
Many of us have regret over things such as “I wish I didn’t say that” or “I wish I didn’t order that meal” or “I wish I bought that souvenir before I left that city.” Those are simple things that make little impact in our lives.
Have an Impact Now, Not Regret Later
But some things make a bigger impact like not having a chance to say goodbye or getting the opportunity to see someone one more time or making a memory of someone you love.
Thinking ahead to a time when your loved one will no longer be with you may be sad or perhaps make you feel like you are asking for trouble, but living without regrets means you will forge ahead and satisfy some of these dreams for the future.
We are not always guaranteed a tomorrow so we must seize the day!
What can you do to live without regret and help your senior fulfill their dreams?
2 thoughts on “Family Caregiving Without Regret and Helping Seniors Avoid “What If””
It may sound like a cliche but having a heart to heart talk with our elders, being open to them, and be authentically emphatic about what they are going though may come beneficial in establishing a positive relationship for both sides. For caregivers, it is also a must to take care of ourselves as our attitude equally reflects how we treat our older loved ones or patients.
In a New York Times article, it is said that “We’re seeing that caregiving burnout is more prevalent,” said Anne Tinyo, national manager of life management services at Wells Fargo Private Bank. “And it’s happening over a longer period of time.” Caregivers, she added, may even die before their loved ones.
I’m sure the older people we are taking care off would equally request us to take of ourselves too.
Exactly Geras! Caregivers must practice self-care to continue to nurture their senior loved ones! Thank you for sharing!
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