I recently made a blog post called “Why You Shouldn’t Quit Your Job to Care For Your Loved One.”
One of my favorite advisors responded with this, among other observations:
“There is a notice in most airlines that say very firmly that mothers with young children, should they need to use oxygen masks, the mother MUST place hers over her nose & mouth FIRST. If she doesn’t then she is likely to be unconscious & not be able to place one on the child. That applies to all of life.
While I am no advocate of sheer selfishness, self interest has to come first. A boomer caregiver who sacrifices herself for a parent, becomes morose, depressed, destroys her life & in the process will become a burden to others. A child who continues to work & find other ways to care for her parents as you suggest, will remain a healthy human being, & fun to be around. We cannot “sacrifice ourselves for others” if in the process we allow that sacrifice to destroy our identity & sense of self, because everybody who cares for us will suffer because of it.
We all have to live our own lives first & foremost, & while we all can give, we must not give beyond the point where we stop being who we are.”
Wise words from someone I deeply respect. I respect her for who she is – for her candor, her insight, and her utter honesty that is full of generosity. I am also aware that she has lived many more years than I have and therefore has more experience to draw upon. Oh, and she survived a plane crash.
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Know someone who is running themselves ragged caring for their elderly parent in Central Virginia? Care is There can help! Have them contact me, Elizabeth, for a free consultation: 434.326.5323ext 2 or Elizabeth@careisthere.com. For more information about our services, and to read testimonials from our clients, visit our website.
Elizabeth Swider, Certified Senior Advisor
President, Care is There Geriatric Care Management
Support for independent living and long distance caregiving; assisted living enhancement
Author, The Caregiver’s Secret
434.326.5323 ext 2