So many people that I talk to don’t self-identify themselves as a family caregiver. Most, as I did, feel they are a daughter caring for her Mom and that just is what it is. Until one day you sense a ‘shift’ and you realize your role has changed.
It is imperative at the time this happens that you make sure you are prepared for what comes next. I found this article Lists, Tips, and Advice for New Family Caregivers from the Huffington Post written by Carol Marak to be a wonderful resource. You may well find things in here regardless of how long you’ve been a family caregiver that will help you.
I found this to be an important point to highlight; “Be a good listener and hear what your loved one is saying as well as what they don’t say. Be patient and encourage independence. Ask “permission” before you do anything. Do not talk “down” to your loved one, always remain respectful. Be patient...yes, I said that twice!”
You may find yourself on such overwhelm that you may not be truly hearing what your loved one is saying or what’s behind what they are saying. It’s important to slow down and take a few extra breaths before you react.
Don’t forget to listen to yourself, too.