When the Unexpected Becomes the Norm for the Caregiver
When the unexpected becomes the norm for the caregiver, as was the case for many in 2021, it knocks us off balance. At least, that’s what one unexpected hit after hit did to me over the past year.
I didn’t realize why my brain felt fuzzy and my energy level had dropped when I paused to write down 2021’s most impactful unexpected events. Then I discovered there were 8 of them.
First on the list was our house construction and remodeling project. It was 20 months of living in constant flux and mess before the contractors were done.
Next up was the rapid decline of my mother’s health that began last spring just as my siblings and I were able to go into her memory care/assisted living facility for the first time since the pandemic shut down began. Because of her increased care needs, we moved her to a long term care facility in June.
In conjunction with Mom’s health decline came the necessity to advocate on her behalf while she was still in the memory care unit. The pandemic led to rapid staff turn over that greatly complicated my attempts to advocate for her. Snafus with her long term care insurance required numerous phone conversations to solve. The importance of keeping good records and logging conversations was repeatedly reinforced. Had I not done that, Mom’s health might have been compromised.
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Jolene Philo is the author of the Different Dream series for parents of kids with special needs. She speaks at parenting and special needs conferences around the country. She’s also the creator and host of the Different Dream website. Sharing Love Abundantly With Special Needs Families: The 5 Love Languages® for Parents Raising Children with Disabilities, which she co-authored with Dr. Gary Chapman, was released in August of 2019 and is available at local bookstores, their bookstore website, and at Amazon. See Jane Run!, the first book in the West River cozy mystery series will be released in June of 2022.
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