A recent issue of AARP The Magazine contains an exceptional and gritty article about caregiving. The focus is primarily on the role a spouse plays in taking care of a dying spouse – in this case, a wife with ovarian cancer – but the caregiver may also be attending to an ailing spouse or parent with a debilitating disease such as Alzheimer’s or other dementia.
In the article linked above, Bill Newcott discusses how he hunkered down and tried to fix what ailed his wife. The first paragraph of the article will grab you:
It’s the one vow that can really come back and bite you in the butt: “…in sickness and in health.” On your wedding day the phrase conjures up visions of tiptoeing into a sun-drenched bedroom with lunch on a tray for your wife…What you don’t expect it to mean is crouching in the harsh fluorescent glare of a hospital treatment room and holding her head to yours, trying not to faint as a technician inserts a large needle between her ribs to suction two liters of fluid from her lungs.”
The role of a caregiver is one that not many will be able to avoid. Currently across America 43.5 million people are caring for a loved one who is 50 years or older. I’ve done it. My brother’s done it. Chances are, you’re doing it too.
AARP Caregiving Resource Center is a magnificent tool for all of you who are involved in caregiving. If you’re sitting there saying you don’t have time to check out this caregiving resource, you need it more than you can imagine.
Please start taking care of yourself and check out the resources that have been developed just for you.