These are just some of the many responses we received
from our Editorial of 06/28/06 -
What Do I Do
It is amazing how we get
ourselves so engrossed in caregiving we do not have,
or take, the time to think of ourselves, especially
to plan ahead for ourselves. I was a caregiver
for about eight years but that is enough to under
stand the feeling of "what do I do now?"
Do you have
Adult Continuing Education Classes anywhere nearby?
In our area we have a great variety of classes to
"brush up", and for learning new things. Here,
the classes are quite inexpensive and they are short
time. Also, one of the best things that I have
discovered to do is simply to plainly tell people
what my needs are. Being from the "Old
School", that was hard for me to learn to do.
But, I've found that it works. It is
unbelievable how many helping hands and minds there
are who will share both assistance and information.
have been able to take free classes thru the Area
Agency on Aging and several presented by the
Alzheimer's Association on caregiving. Those
classes certainly added to what I had already
learned as a full time caregiver. The best
thing of all, it gave me the confidence to teach
other caregivers ways to make their life and the
life of their loved ones much easier and happier.
retiring, I had taught at the local community
college for several years, I went to them and
offered to teach a class on caregiving. I've
been teaching the class now for a couple of years.
Also, through the classes at the Alzheimer's
Association, I am now a certified support group
facilitator. and have a support group going for
family members of patients at a local senior care
facility. The meeting are open to the public so it
also makes good public relations for the facility.
Neither of these
things give me much income, but both have given me
connections to persons who have the ability to
assist me should I decide to go back to work.
(That may not be too likely, since I am 72 and
really enjoying what I am doing!!!!)
Occasionally, I teach a craft, or food arts, or play
a game or sing with the patients at a care facility.
These things are in addition to their regular
activities. Now that I am not stressed from
at-home caregiving, and have learned to handle
the upsets that some of the patients have, I love to
spend time with them, even those with alzheimer's
Ted, this may
not help you very much, but it sure has certainly
helped me to share my thoughts and to let you know
that I am concerned and care. Blessings to
Special to Gary:
Thanks for all the help you and your readers have
been to me when I was still struggling with
I am not a professional.. rather currently in a
caregiving role and wish you the best in the next
chapter of your life. If you think back of what you
might have wanted to do (not professionally aligned
to do with the original career) during the time that
was consumed by caregiving - what would it have
been? If you surface those activities or career
elements that you thought about along the way your
direction may surface as well.
When two or three days are now focused on travel and
caregiving I think of what I might have otherwise
been doing or at least would have "wanted" to do.
Those are what I want to keep in mind after reading
about your situation. I think it would be normal to
feel immobilized for a time and even healthy to
replenish yourself before placing yourself into
something just to fill a void or to "catch up" for
Best to you
I'm very sorry for your loss...I
know how it is to be a caregiver. I take care of my
mom who is 84 and my hubby who is mentally
disabled. I did want to wish you the best of luck.
I think like Gary if you did like the caregiving
part; you might consider going into that field and
the legal field together. There are many retirement
homes and assisted living homes that could use your
expertise. Since you do know about being patient
and waiting on someone who has lost lots of their
independence, I'm sure they would love to have you
on board. I also want to say, you were a great son
and nephew. There are not many men out there who
would do what you did. I am very sure your parents
and aunt were very appreciative of what you did to
Take Care and the Best of Luck
necessarily believe that pursuing a career in one
of the fields of caregiving is in your best
interest. However, I could see how you might slip
into one of those positions because it's familiar
and you are experienced in the field.
My advise is to
spend some time vacationing, relaxing and getting to
know yourself. When you go out into the world notice
what catches your eye, what excites you? Be willing
to sit with the nothingness, the time on your hands
and see what comes up. I think seeking help from a
professional counselor would be helpful at this time
in your life.
I'd really like
to see you pursue something you love and take a
break from the world of caregiving.
Best of luck