We hear the word “care-giver” often now. There is a whole bunch of us 50 to 60 something people who have parents who need our help. Who need our love. Who need our advocacy and strength.
Of course, most of us try to be present for our family. We want to be. Even some people who have had difficult family issues will show up for their aged.
But… It can become tough as you navigate running your own business or holding down a full time job, being present for your own spouse and kids, dealing with your own health issues, and anything else that demands your time. It can take a toll.
More often than not, most care-giving falls into the lap of a woman. The daughter, the wife, the mother… although, I know more and more men who are taking responsibility for their parents as well. However, women are the ones most commonly taking care. And, as they look after the elder’s needs, their own needs get put on the back burner.
I know for myself, I have had to travel to the other side of the country over and over again so I could help my parents. I have left work behind many times in the last few years. Despite the financial toll I endured, I could not have stayed away knowing what I could do for them. I just loved them too much for that!
Now I am entering that time of life when my own health issues are cropping up. I worry about being able to be strong for my mother. (my father passed away 2 years ago now..) I will do my utmost to keep myself healthy and find ways to nurture both of us.
My story is not uncommon by any means. I know friends who are striving hard to remain healthy as they continue to be there for their Mom or Dad.
What is your story? How are you coping? Share with us your experiences…
Thank you and stay healthy!
By Trilby Jeeves