The Miracle of Caregiving Part 5.
When does it all end?
In Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 we considered the various aspects of caregiving in an attempt to understand the issues which confront us. Today’s subject is more difficult. In this fifth and final part we look squarely at the future.
There is no magic pill that makes all this go away. Hard as it is to say this but the task will get no easier than it is today. In fact just the opposite. The demands will grow and the responsibilities will grow with them. Individual routine tasks will become more difficult. However, the greater difficulty will be knowing when enough is enough and admitting the job is too much. Nobody wants that day to arrive.
I have not yet arrived there but I understand that most people go beyond their bearable level of total exhaustion. Pushed by the mindset of “I should be able to do this” or “Who else can do this but me” we are tempted to continue doing what we do and maybe even to the detriment of those for whom we care.
The progression of becoming totally exhausted is so slow that it is virtually impossible to recognize. It is not until we find ourselves constantly tired and falling asleep every time we sit down that we might begin to admit that the job just might be getting too much. The justifiable fear is what happens beyond that. None of us want to go there, well I certainly don’t.
I guess this is where our long term planning mentioned earlier comes into play. This is where the discussion with other family members is recalled and options are looked at for the betterment of the person cared for and for the Carer. Usually there is the option of hiring assistance from outside which would be considered assisted living or if that is not an option then it would have to be long term care. This would be a very hard scenario. It is disturbing and hurts just to think about that possibility.
I am not sure what you might think of this but I have to say that I believe my Christian faith certainly helps in facing all of these issues both now and in the future. I would be the first to acknowledge that there are thousands upon thousands of people doing an admirable job at caregiving who would not profess to have any kind of faith. So having a faith is not a pre-requisite or essential for caregiving. I can only speak from my own experience and I believe my faith provides support in my role as caregiver.
As a source of strength, not physical but spiritual, I believe it helps me face the difficulties and disappointments of everyday caregiving. It doesn’t change the situation or make things any less painful but it does seem to provide the strength to overcome and rise above an unenviable situation.
Knowing that God cares brings consolation and comfort. From this comes an inner peace and inexplicable strength. Believing that we are in the hands of God gives confidence that whatever is in the present and whatever lies before us will be His concern as well.
With that in mind I press on to do my caregiving to the best of my ability, that’s what I have chosen to do.