Who is a caregiver?
Nearly 1/3 of Americans serve as family caregivers and millions more serve as paid professional caregivers. The Caregiver Space is sharing their stories.
I was once an executive at one of the largest banks in the country and an executive assistant prior to that. Being a caregiver is nothing like my work experience!
I’m the last of 4 girls. Home is the edge of the world: coastal North Carolina. I’ve lived in Chicago and Cleveland. I prefer North Carolina hurricanes to anything the Midwest states call winter.
At 35 years of age I became a caregiver to my husband after 6 months of marriage. Its been 8 years and though it’s not easier, it is more predictable. I’ve begun to care for my 83 year old mother recently. I’m also a mother and recent grandmother.
What do I wish I’d known before becoming a caregiver? I wish I had known about the evolution of isolation caregiving creates. This being the hardest part of caregiving, I’ve learned to rely on myself and exercise great resourcefulness in relationship building. Part of those resources include building a social network with other caregivers. They provide such compassion and insight into familiar territories.
Lessons are a daily blessing and burden of caregiving. Patience, above all, is the greatest lesson. Dividing my time between responsibilities while carving a pinch out for myself is still a lesson I have to master even after 8 years at it. Researching everything I can about the medical condition as well as experimental therapies and treatments has been crucial to not only my husband’s health but to my sense of control.
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