Updated: Jan 15
Caring for mom or dad in your house can be a very wonderful thing to do with many rewards. It was a wonderful thing for me and allowed my mom to be with me when she passed away. It can also be very isolating. When you take this job on it becomes most of your daily life. Depending on how much care is needed it can be your whole day. You are basically caring for an infant again in many respects as the needs can be that demanding.
Most of us who are caring for someone are doing it with a spouse or with children and a job. It easily monopolizes all of your day and leaves you with little left for anyone else. So while we are doing something wonderful it effects everyone in the home and even those outside the home. We have wonderful friends that constantly check in as I was lucky enough to have as well. They were supportive and understanding.
I have spoken with several people caring for someone in recent weeks and have noticed a common theme. They have noticed that some of their friends do not call quite as much. Maybe they feel like we are too busy or always unavailable. Sometimes friends feel like they are bothering us. It is never done with intent to hurt us. We are often too tired to do anything and often so stressed we do not even want to explain what's going on because it's too exhausting to do so. We often might not answer the phone because we don't want to complain and tell you that nothing is new because we are doing the same thing we have been doing for weeks.
When we do have a few minutes we probably have to go to the grocery store or maybe try to get a haircut or get to the dentist. Spouses and children can get frustrated with the daily grind and the upheaval within the house so when you put all this together it can make for a very isolating environment. So if you know anyone that is caring for someone at home whether that is a parent, friend, sick child or any other type of situation I encourage you to do a few things that would be extremely helpful to someone. Don't stop calling and texting or maybe sending a note. Those things mean a lot to people and give them just a little boost in the day even if they do not respond.
Most people do not want to ask for help so calling or texting when you are out and about and asking if they need anything can be a huge help. I had many friends text me from Costco or the grocery store asking if I needed anything. I learned to say yes. Most importantly remember that when people go silent or don't communicate with you as much, it usually means they could use the support even more and that likely things are difficult. I know that every text or flower left at my doorstep was like a hug and someone letting me know I was on their mind. It really kept me going.
This is a something that applies to anyone anywhere going through anything. People need a check in all the time but more so when people go quiet. I think that often means they need your thoughts and support the most.