There are many things that are easy to grasp in theory. When those things happen to you and your family and they become reality, the answers become more difficult to grasp. While no roadmap is perfect, planning is the answer.
Caring for a loved one is one of the hardest jobs in the world. It isn’t a burden. It isn’t something we don’t want to do. But it is hard. It is challenging. It is tiring. It is also joyous and fulfilling. The balance is worth it.
What do we do, though, when we thought we had it all figured out and an unexpected detour is suddenly appears in the road? A client who has been with Timesavers for years has had one caregiver who knows her routine and likes and dislikes and little quirks. Recently, that caregiver had an injury at home that requires her to be off full duty work for a fairly significant period.
The client’s family was in a groove. It all worked great, with the family doing part of the care and the caregiver filling the gaps. The client was happy, healthy, and safe. Enter the wrench.
Full disclosure, the client here is my mother and the family is my family. We are very fortunate. We have a team of people who pitch in and help out. We have access to a wonderful company like Timesavers to help us find a backup for my mom’s favorite helper. We are a family made up of planners and doers.
The situation, however, was unexpected, and it has raised the stress level slightly. You see, we were on a roll. We had it all figured out. We are a force of nature, if I do say so myself. Yet we were caught off-guard and had to go back to the drawing board.
What’s the point of this story? Planning matters. Preparation matters. Even then, life’s road can suddenly take a turn. When that happens, having resources to turn to is vital. Knowing what your options are is essential.
The plan changes. The path diverges. And you have to be prepared to move right along with it. Having a foundation of resources and knowledge and relationships is what gives you and your family the ability to make those unexpected twists and turns.
So, here’s to reality and being prepared to deal with it. May we all do our best to be ready for the road ahead.
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Elizabeth Downing is Care Coordinator for Timesavers Concierge, Caregiving & Chauffeur in Bowling Green and Owensboro, Kentucky. A 1982 graduate of WKU, Elizabeth found her passion in advocating and providing care for older adults and those beginning to navigate life’s transitions. Timesavers seeks to raise awareness of issues relating to aging and caring for aging loved ones, and to let people know they are not alone in the journey, while working to provide the highest quality day to day care available. Elizabeth is an Aging Life Care™ Professional; a Positive Approach to Care™ Certified Independent Consultant; and has completed a Certificate in Care Management from Boston University. She facilitates a family caregiver support group each month.