Caring for a loved one and feeling fatigued?
I know just how stressful and confusing it all can be. If you feel like you lost a life you loved thanks to caregiving responsibilities, you’re not alone.
We are often thrust into it without advanced notice and no time to prepare. Since we didn’t prepare, we spend the first part of our caregiving journey catching up on all of the “I wish I would have knowns.” We have to form, storm, and norm all at the same time.
We don’t have time to rally any troops, so we end up going it alone.
I’ve been caring for my grandma since 2015. We never had any conversations about it before she began needing help. As her only living relative, I assumed her safety and welfare would eventually fall on me. The egotistical Rachel said, I got this.. and pushed Grandma’s future to the back of my mind.
The first two years I cared for her pretty much by myself. In the beginning, I didn’t think I needed help. Once I realized I did, I was so tired all I could ever think about was my bed. I couldn’t put any energy into even getting started trying to figure out what it would take to make this work in the long run.
It didn’t take long for that to wear me down. It left me with no time for myself or anything I cared about.
It was really no life for either of us.
Once that sunk in, I slowly started working toward a solution. After all, I was putting in 40 hours a week in the office, 20+ hours caregiving (which meant an extra hour of travel round trip).
Most likely in response to a crisis or meltdown, I eventually hired a gal to come in and provide companionship. As Grandma declined, I brought in another one. I felt peace of mind knowing that she had someone with her now for a little while every day. I wasn’t getting any relief, though, because I had them coming during the day. The evenings and weekends were still all me. I grew wearier and wearier.
I was so burnt out and emotionally spent that when another loved one was dying and needed my help, I just couldn’t deal. I didn’t have the energy reserves to make smart decisions, and I certainly didn’t have anyone who could step in and take the reins for a bit at Grandma’s.
So, I quit my job. Soon after, my loved one passed. Life as I knew it had flipped upside down within a calendar month. I asked myself, What am I going to do now?
I had Grandma. And a new business to launch unless I wanted to move in with her ;).
At first, it was all good. I filled the empty times during the days and worked in the evenings. On the days she had help, I could focus on my projects. Soon, my business was consuming all of my extra time.
I had a choice to make: keep spending all these hours caring for Grandma and limit my ability to grow my new business… or figure out a way to get out from underneath all the caregiving.
So we launched an in home care business that exists solely to provide support to my grandma. We bill the long term care insurance. I supplement the support she receives from her paid caregivers to keep costs down, but I am no longer providing all of most of her care.
After a two and a half year saga marked by hours on the phone with the long term care insurance company, hundreds of trips to the bank or atm, too many hours of lost productivity, *all* of the vacation and “sick” days, and one major life change later…
My grandma has a team of ladies that live to come to work and be with her, and I am freed up to build my empire.
A lot of people will have you thinking that caregiving will completely and permanently disrupt your life. That is their experience. It doesn’t have to be yours.
You can resume or rebuild your life if it’s been interrupted caregiving and you will love it.
True, you have to make sacrifices to care for a loved one. But it is not all doom and gloom.
The first step is accepting that you can’t do it on your own.
Just because you’re not the *only* or the main one doing all of the work doesn’t mean your loved one isn’t your top priority. That was something I had to accept before I could make this work. Accepting that doing it all yourself won’t work for long and is neither in the best interest of you or your loved one (and anyone else involved). If you’re going to support your loved one to have quality of life for the long haul, you can’t be the one providing all of their care all of the time.
So. If you have been thinking of hiring private caregivers or in home help for your mom, dad, uncle or grandma… then you will want to join me for the free LIVE HCIC orientation on 10/16/19. It’s happening right here at TakingCareofGrandma.com.
In this webinar, I will go over:
- What the heck an HCIC is
- My journey to becoming the HCIC
- The steps to becoming the HCIC and ensuring you and your loved one have the support you need to maintain your direction to your homes and dreams
Save your seat! RSVPs are limited and registration closes soon.