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photo and graphics: Martha G. Brady

Click this link for the other days in the 31 DAYS OF CARETAKING: ONE DAY AT A TIME.

Yesterday, we started discussing what to do when you hit the wall. We talked about when it happens and what it looks like. I’m not certain that this happens to everyone, but most people struggle with this to some degree after the Event. It may happen a few weeks later or a year later, but it is likely to catch up with you.

Today, we’ll cover a few more areas that need to be discussed. The last in the series of three will hit at the heart of where the problem is when you hit the wall. This list isn’t comprehensive. I’m sure there are other areas to be considered. But these are some of the main ones.

Find something each day that you enjoy doing. Click To Tweet
  • Socialization-Making time to get out with people is very important. I put this under a very large category. This may mean a monthly lunch with a friend…or weekly time with a group of friends. It may mean church on Sundays. I put your worship time in a different category, but in terms of socialization, your church may be enough for you. It all depends on your involvement there. Hopefully, you have friendships that extend so that during the week, if you can’t get out, you can at least visit over the phone or they will drop in and visit you. Neighbors are another area you should not ignore. Making a point to know them is important when you find it hard to get out. If your loved is fully homebound and you have no one to help you when you need breaks.
    • In some communities, there is respite care but the cost may be a factor. There are also daycare programs for the elderly that might be a good option if your loved one is confused and needs to be watched, but is at a level where they would enjoy the activities. It is wise to look into these before you need them and be aware of them so when your loved one is ready, you will know. These are options for you to consider if you need to get out to do errands as well as socialize…an important part of life, not a fluffy part at all! Of course, you may be fortunate to have local family members or close friends who are able to help fill in for you. That is a great help.
  • Do something fun each dayFind something each day that you enjoy doing. It may be something as simple as stopping and walking outside to enjoy looking at your flowers while you are drinking your coffee or tea. It may be making time to enjoy making something with your quilt fabric (a table topper instead of a full quilt) because you love creating things. I don’t know what things are fun for you. You might want to make a list for yourself. Last week, we had our daughter and grandchildren over. It was fun setting the table, having the meal and enjoying each other. We will do it again soon. It’s been a long time since we have had them over for a meal.
  • Simplify your lifeGet rid of clutter and excess. When Ron got sick, I was starting to clear away a lot of extras from our move. We had only lived in our apartment a year. I moved too many things in and needed to get rid of stuff. Then he had the stroke. It delayed my project, to say the least. In fact, I’m just now getting back to it in a serious way. I’ve gotten more boxes, furniture, and miscellaneous stuff out of the way…and I still have plenty to go! After this last round of cleaning out, I feel much lighter and more together than I have in a long time. I think clearer for sure. This past year of 3 hospitalizations has been wearing. I highly recommend lightening your load. The process is difficult, but the end result is delightful!
Get rid of clutter and excess. Click To Tweet

Get help learning the new skills you need.-If you need to learn to manage the money that he once did and you feel you have no affinity for it, you will need help learning to do it in a way that will work for you. My way of doing it is very different from his. I cannot do it the way he did. But I need to find a way to do it that will be as comprehensive. I am learning, but it hasn’t been easy. I don’t think I have become as comprehensive at it yet. You will have different abilities and different skills you will need to learn. Find ways to do them in a way that you can manage. Depending on your temperament, you may need to learn to be patient with yourself. You may have people in your family who can help you. If not, you may even have to pay someone to help you. Whatever you have to do to lessen your stress level in doing your new job, you need to do it.  To be continued…

 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled,
sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior,
not slanderers or slaves to much wine.
They are to teach what is good,
and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,
to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind,
and submissive to their own husbands,
that the word of God may not be reviled.
Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.

Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works,
and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,

and sound speech that cannot be condemned,
so that an opponent may be put to shame,
having nothing evil to say about us.

Titus 2:2-8