What’s Scary about being a Family Caregiver?

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When we are little, it’s the unknown in our world that scares us. As a young child, Betsy would take a flying leap from the door of her room to get in bed, because she was afraid some monster would grab her ankles and pull her down if she got too close. My fear was the dark. My family lived in the country when I was growing up, and at night it was very dark outside; I was afraid of what hid in the woods just beyond our yard. My fear and Betsy’s was driven by what we didn’t know but could only imagine… dangerous things that lurked in the dark, just beyond our view. These things didn’t even have faces, but they certainly made my heart race!

Some family caregivers are well equipped and prepared for the task of caring for an aging family member, but for others, the role might come shrouded in mystery. The unknowns may be found in techniques of providing care, the changing aspects of a developing disease or chronic ailment, and how long care will be needed. While all of these considerations should give one pause, it just might be what you do know as a family caregiver that scares you the most.

 Family caregivers know that their loved one needs their help, giving rise to doubts of their own ability to provide the required care. Here are tips from AAR for overcoming those doubts.

 Family caregivers know their own needs and responsibilities must also be met, and wonder where they will find the energy to handle everything. Click here for ideas on how to manage the energy challenge.

 Family caregivers know there will be added costs incurred by themselves and their loved one during this time, leading to worries about money management. Cost management suggestions will be addressed in next week’s blog.

 Family caregivers know their boundaries and borders are about to change dramatically, and this stretching is always frightening! But if we aren’t stretching and growing, we are dying, and with stretching comes expanded flexibility and better health. Here are tricks  for handling tasks outside your comfort zone.

 Most of all, family caregivers know they must commit themselves to the task before them. This commitment requires courage, which leads to new competencies and more confidence in providing care. These are the 4 “C”s of caregiving.

 Don’t let fear of the known or the unknown dissuade you from your calling as a family caregiver during your caring season. Embrace it entirely and watch to see how God works in surprising ways in your life and in those around you. He truly is miraculous!

 Betsy and I hope you’ll join the conversation below and share your heart about the scary parts of caregiving.


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