I spent two and a half months in isolation at home when Covid-19 first arrived in March. At first it was like a mini vacation. But then it turned into boredom that had no light at the end of the tunnel. How was I going to get through this? I read over 30 books, binged watched TV shows and movies; ventured outside for mail and backyard for a change in pace.
I thought this was going to be easier than it was. It was not. I surprised myself of how quickly I became tired of the entire situation. I felt depressed, anxious and so alone. I made a lot more calls to friends and family than I ever had just to remind me there is still a world out there.
I am back to work, but the experience has left me with a nagging urge to do more for those that are still coping with isolation. I stop by neighbors homes and leave on the door step a small gift, a card to say someone is thinking about them, bottle water, snacks (oh how I missed my snacks while in isolation) or just a smile when they come to the window.
I know there is more we can do. Start thinking about others in need and how you can help them.
We are coming up on the 4th of July holiday. This is an important day in our history as it marks our Independence. We will all be celebrating. Many reflections of our future will be discussed in hundreds of conversations over BBQ and fireworks.
Imagine losing that independence. Having to live a different life that you imagined for years. Giving up things that you have taken for granted. How would that make you feel? Independence as an aging society is rarely part of any conversation.
Take time to reflect on our future in a different light. Take time to assist those who have already lost their independence, and take the time to get involved in programs that enhance independence for the aging. Take the time for your own future independence .
How do we support each other during trying times? It is a position I find myself in at the moment. My daughter-in-law’s mother is extremely ill. She has been in the hospital for over a week and has good and bad days. I love my family and want to help. I am a direct person that takes control sometimes to relieve the stress of others, but this time, I believe I overstepped the boundaries. I upset my daughter-in-law because of my approach. She felt I was trying to take control away from her. I did not intend this to be the case and for the last five days she has been very ugly to me. I know it is because of her stress of all that is happening with her.
Today I decided to face her and let her know how I want to be her support through this rough time. I cried. The pain was deep. But my taking responsibility for my actions and asking her how I can be help to her, let her take back the control.
I have the grandchildren with me so that she can have some alone time to work through her feelings. That was her request. I learned that I was wrong to assume what she needs. Ask. It is the best thing to do. Things are better now.
2019 is a year of excitement and power. This is the year to become refreshed from the trials of 2018.
You have an enormous impact on how your life goes. You are in control. Stay in control. It is the time to renew yourself and help your loved one. Think positive and keep spirits high.
This time of the year, we feel exhausted and sometimes resentful when caregiving begins to take over our lives. Taking care of yourself allows you to provide better care overall. Take time out for some me time activities to refresh your body and mind. Once you are in a good place, it is time to refresh the caregiving progression as well.
And what a valuable time to start the new year with a review of your loved one’s progression over the past year and set new goals to address them. You will need to update the care plan to include resources that will help with the challenges of the previous year. Incorporate these challenges into the new year plan. You will want to consider adjusting the family caregiving plan, financial resources, health, and Home Care, and housing options.
Your patient advocate will coordinate the process to keep things on track. It is his/her responsibility to be sure everyone is on the same page.