The Six Stages of Caregiving
The Expectant Caregiver
In this stage of caregiving, the caregiver is preparing for the inevitable. They see caregiving in their future and are beginning to plan for the responsibility that is about to be theirs. During this time the caregiver is trying to work through transitioning their loved one to a higher level of care.
The Freshman Caregiver
By this point your loved one is officially in your care but it was nothing like you expected it to be. You are feeling lost and overwhelmed by the daily tasks involved in being a caregiver. Your relationship with your loved one is changing but you’re not quite sure what to do about it.
The Entrenched Caregiver
You’re completely overwhelmed by caregiving at this point. Your life looks nothing like you planned and you’re finding very little time available to focus on your needs let alone what you enjoy. You’ve sacrificed every part of your life, every relationship to take care of your loved one. You’re surviving.
The Pragmatic Caregiver
At this stage you finally feel more confident in your role. Your routines run like clockwork. Your loved one is settled. You are able to advocate well because you have educated yourself. Some might even call you an expert caregiver. You finally feel as if you can devote a bit more time to yourself again.
The Transitioning Caregiver
Every caregiver gets to a point where they can see the end of their role. Your loved one is nearing the end of their life. At this time you want to make the most of your time together but also be prepared for your future.
The Godspeed Caregiver
When caregivers reach this stage, caregiving has become so much a part of your life that you may not be sure what life looks like without it. Everything feels new. The things you used to enjoy may not bring you as much joy anymore. It’s time to rediscover who you are.