Here’s a powerful mind trick: pretend you are sitting at the funeral of the elderly person you love. Now that they are gone, what are you treasuring about them? What is lost now that they are gone? What do you wish you had done or said? Now: snap your fingers and you have a second chance!
Caregiving – even long distance caregiving – can be grinding and wearying so it is easy to forget what we love until it is gone from us. This year you can celebrate your loved one and it could be the best year of your lives together.
Here are some ideas to help start your celebration:
- Give up one source of guilt and one source of resentment. Just give them up because they do nothing but bring you both down. You will feel like a new person – trust me.
- Record the old stories and label the old photographs. Surely you’re tired of hearing the same stories over and over. But one day you will remember them fondly. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a recording of those stories in your loved one’s own voice? And what about all those old photos? Who will put the names and stories with the faces when your loved one is gone? Doing this process together can create new memories too.
- Have generational family pictures taken. Not only will you treasure a family portrait, but your children will too.
- Schedule a “quality time” visit. Schedule a visit apart from a crisis or a holiday. Consciously create the visit you want to remember fondly. Tip: read “How NOT to Have the Same Old Conversation with your Elderly Parents.”
- Schedule a caregiving break. Put that vacation on your calendar and find people or services to cover your caregiving duties.
- Do the thing you would regret not doing. What will you wish you had said or done? Do it NOW and make it a celebration!
For help managing your caregiving needs in central Virginia – Charlottesville, Staunton, and Harrisonburg – call Care is There at 434.326.5323 or visit our website at careisthere.com.