As you go through your days, you can do so with one eye and ear open or assume, perhaps hope that all is well with the one you are caring for. You’ve made sure the medications are ordered, doctor appointments made, and have home health coming in a few days a week to help with some essentials.
The boxes are checked.
Yet, there is something that is nagging at you. An unknown is out there; you just know it.
The unpredictability of caregiving can set us up to be on our toes for what might come next, but when we find ourselves in a bit of overwhelm, the small things can start adding up. Before we know it, the little things have become issues to be reconciled.
This is where conversations need to occur, perhaps ones that we’ve avoided having or the one we’re caring for preferred not to have. Underneath that slight smile, are there layers of fear about what is happening in their life? Are they hiding something?
Any relationship can have its challenges, so a shift in dialogue may reduce the wall of fear or shame that may be happening. Make it clear you are listening with both ears wide open and without judgment or assumptions. Don’t listen to what YOU think they are saying or is happening. Instead, be an open vessel and let them know it’s ok to talk.
Constant communication is worth the effort and ultimately benefits everyone involved. Before a wave of misunderstanding happens, take a few deep breaths and try something different in your days:
Listen to what may be behind the words spoken
Ask the uncomfortable questions.
And at the end of your day, give yourself a bit of time to rest. Digest what is happening and acknowledge the good, let go of anything not quite ‘right’ and take the rest, one day at a time.