Caregivers dedicate so much time and attention to serving their loved ones that when your journey as a caregiver ends, it can leave you feeling numb, unsure and frozen in time. Unfortunately, many of us know this is inevitable and we’ve done the best we can, but no matter how you’ve prepared for this, it can still throw you for a loop. According to Danielle Buck, Director of Community Relations at YourLife™ of Stuart, a Memory Care community in Stuart, Florida, it’s only right to feel lost or unsure of the future. “Caregivers spend almost all of their time, energy and resources to provide the highest level of care for their loved ones with dementia,” she states. “This means that they may have spent less time with their families, quit their jobs, put their careers or schooling on hold and even perhaps strained relationships. You may wonder where to go from here and what is next for you, but know your options are limitless and there is still support available for you.”
Where Do I Go from Here?
According to the Family Caregiver Alliance National Center on Caregiving, there is a lot to consider and heal from. Consider some of the most important things to do when your role as a caregiver ends.
- Get your emotions in check. Dementia caregivers may feel any number of emotions as their caregiving journey ends. From the loneliness of no longer being needed to the isolation you’re facing, the grief of loss to the potential relief you have now that your loved one is no longer suffering, no one handles this the same way. Give yourself grace to feel these emotions and take the time to truly think over everything.
- Learn how to forgive yourself. Many caregivers feel guilt that they were either imperfect, unable to help their loved one or that they feel relief. You’re not the only one. Many caregivers have these thoughts and feelings. Learn how to forgive yourself and know that what you did was the very best you could do.
- Get some much-needed rest. Dementia caregivers often get little rest and sleep. It’s likely that exhaustion is now catching up with you. Take a break, do nothing and try to relax as much as possible.
- Take small steps to re-enter into your life again. You likely now have a world of opportunity at your feet. Take some time to do the hobbies you love but didn’t have time to do before. Meet with friends and family. Create new goals and achieve them.
- Take care of yourself. Get back into the routine of exercising, eating right, getting enough sleep and organizing your life. This also means getting help from other caregivers who have gone through the same thing, whether you know someone or attend a support group. They can help you to feel better, find your new goals and take the next steps to get back on track.
It’s ok to take time to grieve and really question your path in life at the end of your journey, but it’s also important to realize you can enjoy life again. Now is a time to rebuild and redefine what you want in life. If you need assistance or guidance about life after caregiving, contact a member of our team. Simply call us at 772-207-4191 for support.
Designed for You. Defined by You.
YourLife™ of Stuart was created with one purpose – to provide the most exceptional Memory Care and uplifting lifestyle for our residents. As Memory Care specialists, we focus all our energy, attention and resources on creating a community that caters to each resident’s personal needs, respects their choices and honors individuality, while providing unequaled peace of mind and support for families. Because Memory Care is our sole focus, we have the unique ability to design and personally tailor plans around our residents. We see each resident as an individual, understanding that everyone has their own story, specific needs and retained abilities. With that information, we develop personally inspired care plans that value and support each person’s independence. Our team of attentive, caring YourLife™ Personal Care Specialists are on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide assistance with everyday activities, gentle reminders and redirection. Through our signature programming, YourStory, we create an individual experience centered around each resident. From cultural, educational and health and wellness programming, scheduled outings and other special events to personal care, assistance and multiple therapies, we create days with meaning. At YourLife™ of Stuart, our residents and families know that this is a community designed for you, with a lifestyle defined by you. Contact us to learn more! Call us at 772-207-4191 for more information or to schedule a personal visit today.