When adult caregivers face the end of life for someone they love deeply, there may be little chance to resolve their feelings—unless they’re aware and have a deep desire to “clean house.” Such housekeeping can make a world of difference in the peace with which the loved one passes. Here’s a personal story that illustrates the healing that is possible when we can be honest and clear in our desire to resolve our past.
One of the most important reasons for a family meeting and a caregiver plan is to make sure none of the caregivers suffers from burnout. It takes planning and cooperation to make sure that everyone—not just the aging or ill loved one—doesn’t get overwhelmed, resentful, and completely fried. Here are some ways to prevent caregiver burnout.
I am asked many times by my clients about ways they might be able to care for their aging parents or an ill loved one. It is simple. Ask your loved one how best you can support them. There is no universal answer. Although there are specific things you can do to arrange for or personally assist them in their daily body care, the way in which they will accept that care is very individual. Many times their ability to accept assistance is a reflection of early childhood patterns and beliefs, combined with the specific relationships they have formed throughout their lives. There are also cultural beliefs that impact how a person will accept support as they become more vulnerable. All of these factors must be taken into account when caring for a loved one.