Are you a caregiver? If you are a caregiver, guard your own health. That is the warning from insurance companies and others in the know. You might find some timely tips on this topic at http://caresharenetwork.blogspot.com/
Two factors are at work against each other. The Baby Boom generation and the parents of that generation are living longer; and the children of those generations are fewer and have moved further away. This often puts the person closest to the situation in the position of giving all the care for those who need assistance, or of hiring someone else to do so.
The strain can show, and the experts tell us: "Take care of yourself. Don't neglect yourself." This is the kind of advice that we can ignore at first. Many of us have a tendency to think that we are like the Energizer Bunny. But as my dear old Dad used to say, "Linda, the human body can only take so much." To which I would reply, "Oh, Dad, it can take more than that." The truth is, Dad was right. We all need to take care of ourselves regardless of whether our lives are intertwined with the care of another person.
Taking care of ourselves means not only eating properly and getting the right amount of rest and exercise. It also means taking care of ourselves spiritually, especially in light of the issues involved in caring for an aging parent, for in the end this brings us face to face with our own mortality.
Look with mercy, O God our Father, on all whose increasing years bring them weakness, distress, or isolation. Provide for them homes of dignity and peace; give them understanding helpers, and the willingness to accept help; and, as their strength diminishes, increase their faith and their assurance of your love. This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [Book of Common Prayer, p. 830]
The Rev. Linda McCloud
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek