What happens to everyone if you don’t take care of yourself?

Are you caring for aging parents and are you the primary caretaker of them?

Maybe no one else in your family wants to be involved to provide help.  Maybe there is no one else around to help and it falls on your shoulders.

Are You Caring For Aging Parents?

It is not that you don’t want to care for them, but it can be taxing to your body day after day, handling their illness, their affairs and your own by yourself.  You feel it is hard enough just to take care of yourself and your family.  It seems overwhelming just thinking about what needs to be done on a daily basis.

You know you want to do as much as you possibly can.  After all, she or he is your parent and they sacrificed things in their life for you as you were growing up.  If you remember you had a good childhood or if you recognize it as not being necessarily a good childhood, then hopefully you can come to terms knowing they did the best they could with what they had.

Or, perhaps you need to do some forgiveness toward them.  If that is the case, it will help you, your health and your growth immensely.  It will set you free.

When you are with your mom or dad, you wish you could just run home and take a shower but you have that fear that while you are gone, you will miss their last breath.  Then you would really feel guilty!  So you don’t.  You barely leave the room or their bedside.

But you stay and stay, which means you end up not eating a proper meal or not eating at all, you don’t get any exercise or even go outside into the sunshine because you are afraid that as soon as you do, you will have regrets!

You feel like you have to protect them if they are in a hospital or hospice setting.  There are strangers all around and shifts change constantly.  You want to make sure they are taken care of in a loving manner, understandably so.

Whether you are caring for aging parents at their home, your home or in a hospice setting, or hospital,  it doesn’t matter – you must take care of yourself!   That is the bottom line.

You, as a caregiver need so badly to re-charge your own batteries so you can come back to the situation and be somewhat fresh.  You are helping your loved one by taking care of yourself, more than you will ever know.  Then you can continue to be there again and again by their bedside.

Give yourself permission – it is okay to leave to run needed errands, shower, eat or whatever is needed to keep you going in a healthy way.  This makes it possible to go on doing more.

There are no guarantees in life except that we will all reach the end of life at some point.  If your loved one decides to make his/her transition while you were away, try not to feel guilty. Of  course it will tear at your heart but statistics show that that is usually when it happens, when no family member is right there by the bedside.

 

 

 

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