Often, rather than integrating caregiving into an existing routine, caregivers make caregiving their new routine. This typically happens because caregivers tend to think of a caregiving situation as temporary, though it often winds up being long term. The thought process goes something like this: “Once I take care of everything going on with Mom, we can get back to normal”—normal being the typical routine for eating well, exercising, working, socializing, and having fun.
This mindset may work if you are helping Mom recover from a minor surgery. But if she has congestive heart failure—this way of thinking will likely cause major stress. In many caregiving situations, the timeframe is far longer than the caregiver was initially expecting. But whether the time period is short or long, caregiving should become a part of caregiver’s life, not take over their entire life indefinitely.
How can you integrate caregiving into your life instead of letting it highjack your life? For ideas check out my new book Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One at www.cruisingthroughcaregiving.com.