Photo credit Christian Fregnan
Most people have not personally provided care for a loved one and therefore cannot fully understand everything that goes into being a family caregiver. While this role can provide many gratifying moments and opportunities, the truth is that it’s often intense, exhausting and worrisome. Being on-call around the clock is both physically and emotionally draining. As a result, a caregiver’s other relationships can easily fall by the wayside. Friendships are usually the first to suffer as caregiving causes a person’s priorities and availability to change.
In situations where caregivers and their care recipients live together, friends can feel like they are intruding during visits. They may also feel uncomfortable because they don’t know how to act when an ailing elder, especially one who is cognitively impaired, is present. There are countless reasons why friends may fall out of touch and stray from their routines together when one becomes a caregiver.
The bottom line is that this responsibility makes it nearly impossible to have a social life, and outsiders—even those closest to us—typically have a hard time understanding this fact. Eventually, friends stop extending invitations and shrugging off plans that are canceled at the last minute. However, working together to achieve mutual understanding
Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. “I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer
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