While we are still technically in summer, already the days are growing shorter, and the leaves have begun to show a little color. I don’t know about you, but Chris and I always welcome the end of summer because it brings a time of endings and new beginnings.
As a family caregiver, perhaps you can embrace this season of change with feelings of celebration and hope. Maybe you could even see this as an opportunity to go back to school in a sense: try to embrace each day’s challenges as an opportunity to learn new strategies, try out different ideas, stretch yourself to become more than you were in days past. Build an arsenal of new ideas for ways to manage behavioral challenges and environmental hurdles. Ask friends, your Bible study group, or local professionals in the home care industry to help you brainstorm innovative ways to approach your hardest situations. Find a support group and share advice with others walking this path with you. Pray for wisdom and strength, gather your thoughts, and step forward this week into a new season of caregiving with confidence and courage.
Promote yourself to a new class of caregiving and celebrate with each new day the opportunity to care for the one you love. Leave yesterday’s defeats behind you, but learn from it first, both in the hard times and in the good memories. Both can teach you valuable lessons and make you a better caregiver. Take notice of every life lesson each day and add each one to your quiver of resources. Keep a journal to help you remember and organize these bits of wisdom and knowledge. Everyone involved will benefit from your expanded resources, revived focus, and renewed energy.
And speaking of changing seasons, when Chris and I created Heart of the Caregiver four years ago, there were very few resources out on the web that offered support and encouragement for family caregivers caring for aging loved ones. We wanted to offer a resource based on our personal caregiving experience and our Christian values as well as lessons learned over nearly two decades of owning two franchised offices of Home Instead. Our goal was to encourage, equip, and empower family caregivers in undertaking their calling to care for their husbands, their wives, their aging parents, grandparents, and other family members. Since we first launched this resource in September of 2017, we have experienced many changes. Today there are lots of great resources to be found on the web, and in the coming weeks Heart of the Caregiver will be changing both our name and our focus. The name change is not our choice, but we trust and believe that God will take this challenge and use it for good. We hope you will come along on this journey with us and see how God continues to work in our lives and our ministry. Watch for details in the coming weeks, and as always, we hope you’ll join us here at Heart of the Caregiver and share your heart about your new seasons in caregiving.