Not all caregivers are over 65 years old. Actually there are many who are younger - as young as 15 years old. I cannot think of a better way to #acknowledgeassessassist in helping younger caregivers than to have you obtain tips straight from a younger caregiver.
Following is a guest post written by Stephanie:
I am 43 years old. I work full time and have 2 teenager daughters. (13 and 17) I am also a caregiver to my 46 year old husband that has Parkinsons Plus. He gets homecare but also requires a lot of assistance by me. I read all these Facebook posts on how to assist caregivers, and it does not always fit with me. So here are some ways to assist me:
Don’t tell me how to raise my teenagers. They are grieving as well. In the midst of me handling everything, I am also trying to handle them. They are doing great despite all that is going on. As well, don’t tell them that they can’t do things because their dad is sick. They know that their Dad is sick but they are also teenagers. I want my girls to experience as much as they can despite the fact that Dad is sick. For example, my oldest graduates this year. I want her to have the best time ever. She will also start University in the fall. I am so pleased.. (Both girls do help)
Offer to help. If helping my husband is not your cup of tea, there is also other ways. Offer to bring my daughters somewhere. Make a meal. Offer to mow or shovel. (Up until recently I never shoveled or mowed. I don’t mind mowing my front yard but the back yard could always use help. I also hate shoveling.) Another way is to offer to come with me when I bring him out. Some assistance (especially in the winter months) is always appreciated.
Bring me somewhere. Between everything I do – I need a break. I don’t tend to take enough me time.
Visit my husband. Sit down and watch TV with him. Bring him a favorite treat. Talk to him. He is used to working all day and he misses being around people. And then when we are home, he is around all females. Some males visiting makes him happy.
Feel free to ask me questions. (but my husband does not always need to hear it) I don’t advertise a lot of his issues, but if you ask me – I will answer. I am grieving too.
I am 43 years old and my life is not how I pictured it. I am doing okay but I am also missing my old life. I am missing the way my life should be. I sometimes need to remember that I am only 43 and that I have so much of my life still ahead of me.
Thank you, Stephanie for sharing. As a younger caregiver, you are not alone.
I hope these tips helps those who have family members and friends who
are providing care to acknowledge and assess how to assist.