In my presentations to the public, I often share an experience that had a significant impact on me. It was a meeting I had with a loving husband, trying to take care of a spouse who had profound Alzheimer’s. He was exhausted and could no longer care for her alone. His own health was suffering.
Caring for her was truly a labor of love. However, he was overwhelmed by the fear of what might happen if he passed first. It turns out that he did pass away before her, but we were able to take measures to ease both his mental and physical strain. Although we lost him too soon, he wisely came in before there was a crisis.
I also met recently with the child of an aging parent who was not in a condition to care for herself, and might not be again. This child and a sibling were doing all they could to provide the needed care. They also had their own lives, responsibilities and commitments. The guilt from limited time and strength was evident.
These are the realities for so many families.
As painful as those circumstances (and so many like them) may be, there are solutions. Even if we could not remove the health challenges, in each case we were able to find cost-effective solutions to improve the circumstances of both the person in need and the caregiver.
In this part of the world, we are born and bred to work hard and help others. That is just one of many reasons I am proud to live here. Yet, despite our best intentions and efforts, there are some challenges that are simply beyond our ability to handle alone.
There are solutions. Do not suffer in silence; and do not hesitate to ask questions. You will likely find there are realistic solutions that improve your circumstances and the circumstances of the one for whom you are caring. Perhaps most importantly, you will find that you are not alone.
© 2016 Steven J Wright