Unlike looking forward to having kids to take care of, most people neither look forward to nor plan for taking care of their Seenagers.
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Types of Family Caregivers
The care giving role can be incredibly tough. Watching people you love deteriorate physically and mentally can be frustrating, sad, and/or traumatic. In your caregiving journey you may have been (or will be) one or more of these:
Emotionally absent caregiver:
You take care of the physical needs but you never stop to have a conversation with your seenager about their emotional needs, fears and desires.
Physically absent caregiver:
You feel that you don’t have time to take care of the physical needs, you stop answering calls, and you don’t go visit. When you have the distinct displeasure of being forced to talk to them your mind is somewhere else, you may listen, say huh, yes, to indicate you are listening but you really aren’t.
Best emotional intentions caregiver:
You maybe promising yourself before and after each interaction that you will stay calm, but you blow up at them for not being who they used to be.
Best physical intentions caregiver:
You may have the best of intentions to be there for their needs, especially when they are going through an acute medical crisis, and they end up in the hospital. You may even show up to the hospital, you may even talk to the doctors, but you are either unable or unwilling to do everything they need help with.
You and your seenager may feel that you are doing the best job possible. However, there are times you are just getting burnt out, it maybe really hard to watch your loved one deteriorate.
Checked out caregiver:
For whatever reason, you may feel that you don’t have to be involved in your seenager’s life. Having talked to a number of caregiver’s that felt this way when their seenager’s were alive, a lot of them carry guilt and sadness once they die.
Caretocaregiver.org has a free handbook and checklists for caregivers.
Caregiving.com has podcasts. They also have a once a year conference for caregivers and caregiver certification program. Check out their "You’re the CEO, Leadership Training for the Family Caregiver".
TOPICS OF ARGUMENT
There are many topics of arguments that can increase stress levels, such as:
1. Food: What to eat and what not to eat, how much is too much and what is too little.
2. Time: How much time can you possibly spend on caregiving.
3. Conversational Style: Rambling on, aloof, repeating etc.
4. Priority of life: Have they given up or are they still trying. How do they spend their time.
5. Change: Getting adjusted to the new norm, especially if the frequently of a new norm has increased.
6. Money: Is there enough money for support. If not how you prioritize expenses.
7. Other family: Chaos created by interactions with other immediate and extended family members.
Experience: Caregiver's Journey will be your friend in solitude, your guide for the journey and coach for planning.
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