Becoming a family caregiver is often something that either happens very suddenly or slowly sneaks up on a person. When a loved one has a health setback or begins needing more assistance, we tend to go into “crisis mode” and haphazardly shift our priorities around to ensure their immediate needs are met. Most family caregivers take on these responsibilities thinking they will be short-term commitments and that life will soon return to “normal.” But the reality is that caregiving can drag on for weeks, months, and even years. Without any solid plans or reprioritizing, things that were once at the forefront of your life, like your job, your friends, and even your relationship with your significant other, can wind up on the back burner. Whether you are brand new to caregiving, you sense it is quickly approaching on the horizon or you’ve been in the trenches for months now, it’s never too late to reevaluate your priorities, make some changes to achieve a better balance in your life, and repair relationships with the people you love.
The Effects of Caregiving on Friendships: When caregiving mode begins, the first things to go are the time, energy, and desire to maintain social connections. Even close friendships that go back years can seem like yet another item on a caregiver’s never-ending to-do list.
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