This is NOT an article about football. Anyone who has a loved one for whom they provide care – whether hands-on or peripheral – knows all too well how unpredictable life can be with that 24/7 responsibility. We’d all like to think that special occasions and events are immune from medical emergencies and other disasters, but all too often that is not the case.
Welcome to the life of a caregiver.
I honestly didn’t think I had another football article in me but the unfortunate circumstances in my best friend’s life have proven otherwise. To say that I am a Seattle Seahawks fan is an understatement of the highest magnitude. My best friend is just as big a fan, if not bigger. (Hard to believe, but I’m well aware that I don’t own the franchise on Seahawks fanaticism.)
The two of us have talked about Super Bowl Sunday numerous times since Seattle won the NFC Championship. She and her husband DVR each Seahawks football game so they can replay all the super fantastic highlights, such as took place in that NFC Championship game. Well, it’s a good thing her DVR was already set up for Super Bowl XLIX because she and her husband will probably miss the game.
Her father-in-law – who lives in another state – has had some challenging health issues for the past couple years; this week those challenges put him in the ICU. My friend and her husband drove out of state to be with him and aren’t certain when they’ll return home. Chances are they’ll not be in a position to view the Super Bowl but that’s the last thing on their minds at this time.
You see this article isn’t about football, it’s about the commitment involved when caring for a loved one.
Whether the person being cared for has dementia or any number of debilitating illnesses, the care commitment is the same. The book, The 36-Hour Day, written by Nancy L. Mace, M.A., and Peter V. Rabins, M.D., M.P.H, is aptly named because a caregiver’s day oftentimes extends beyond the 24 hours given to the rest of us – or so it seems when you’re in the midst of it.
Caregiving never takes a holiday, and it certainly doesn’t give a damn about your team’s participation in the Super Bowl. If you are a caregiver, you are my hero. If you know someone who is a caregiver, please do something to make their life easier.
Please see the following articles that will benefit both the caregiver and those trying to find a way to help someone they know who is a caregiver:
- The tethered caregiver
- The silent cry of the caregiver
- A normal day, caregiving style
- Caregiving: grief, guilt, exhaustion and discrimination