Let’s face it. No one ever expects to be a family caregiver.
But as we watch our loved ones get older, many of us are faced with the reality of becoming one.
There is no plan.
There are few resources.
You feel lost and alone.
Does any of this sound familiar?
- You are watching your loved one get older and suddenly realize there is no plan for their care if and when they need it.
- You have suddenly been thrown into the role of caregiver with no plan, limited resources, with no idea what to do next.
- You have no idea how to hold onto your marriage, your homemaking, your career, or raise your kids and be a caregiver.
- You have been a caregiver for a while but consistently feel “caregiver burnout”. You feel tired, unsupported, and very much alone in your role.
- You are facing the end of your caregiving and have no idea what to do when this stage of your life is over.
I get it and have been where you are!
I became a caregiver in 2010 the day I got married. At that time I considered myself a supportive caregiver. My in-law’s had just retired to the family ranch following my mother-in-law’s stroke. While my mother-in-law had no physical side affects, her mind had been irrepairably damaged. It became my responsibility to see to most meals, doctor’s appointments, and scheduling aides.
Fast forward to 2014…My husband and I had a two-year-old son and I was seven months pregnant with our daughter when my father-in-law very suddenly passed away.
My husband and I knew immediately that I would assume the role of primary caregiver for my mother-in-law and quickly made plans to move into the family home.
Over the next six years we navigated the struggles familiar to many caregivers:
- Blending two unique households into one cohesive home and family unit
- Drama from extended family members
- Legal battles
- Budgeting and financial planning
- Advocating for medical testing and treatment
- Researching new diagnosis and symptoms
- Finding support and help
- Experimenting with strategies and routines
- Coping with personality changes
- Medical emergencies
All of this (and so much more) while also preparing for our future and growing our family to be a family of seven.
In February 2020, my mother-in-law unexpectedly passed away ending this particular caregiving journey.
There is no grief quite like that of a caregiver. While we would never wish them back to the suffering they felt at the end of their life, their absence leaves an indescribable void and the caregiver is left questioning their purpose and future.
My passion is to help other family caregivers feel less burdened by their role. I have extensive training in helping family caregivers create individualized plans in whatever stage they find themselves in. I’ve been where you are and I know it’s possible to become a confident caregiver while staying true to who you are.
In addition to providing consulting services and coaching for family caregivers, I run and write for A Bridge Between the Gap is dedicated to family caregivers, just like you who want the caring of your loved one to fit into your life instead of run it. I provide battle-tested solutions to your caregiving challenges so you can live with purpose and balance.