What makes accepting help easier is to have it defined as help. "I can help you with that" is a world away from "let me do that," and the first step here is listening. Asking if it's awkward to get in and out of the shower, difficult to wash your back (a task that everybody has a hard time with!), put on your socks - to a client this sounds so different than saying "I'll do that for you."
It begins with the stripping away of all the holiday trappings, usually on the first day of the year, but sometimes the following weekend. Red and green are packed away to be replaced with calming pastels - tranquil blues and creams - punctuated with bursts of color (turquoise, lime green, orange) that are like visual bubbles of delight. They lack the audacity of Valentine reds, purple, and pink, and aren't quite as vivid as the colors of spring and summer, but they feel light and positive when compared to the muted light and bare trees outside.
We are continuing to create a ripple effect of change! When asked why I started Breathing Spaces, my response has always been, "I don't want others to have to go through this alone. I know the ups and the downs, the fears, and the heartaches very well. Knowing that you have emotional support is critical. All of us understand because we've been there."
Over the summer, we added Curves of Los Altos to our family of care partners. Since then, Mimi and Tracey have led our Caregivers' Walks and are hosting a thirty-minute at-home workout on November 2nd. More than just two women who are part of a nationwide franchise of woman-focused gyms, both are also caregivers. Here are their stories.
Let’s be real here. We all have days where a lot is piling up, and that one conversation takes you off guard and flips you into oblivion. It is easy enough to get swept up in an argument or misinterpret what is happening with someone else. I'm sure those situations have happened to all of us, and I'm equally certain that beating ourselves up afterward with "I should have…;" "I wish I had…;" has no benefits. Looking at the situation without judgment allows us to tune in to what else may be happening.
As a caregiver, you're naturally a nurturing person. Use that trait to your advantage when selecting a side hustle. For example, you might start a child or pet care business. If you’ve got a green thumb, you can always take on some lawn maintenance jobs in your neighbourhood. Lastly, if you have experience with things like coding or graphic design, you can find freelancer jobs that allow you to work from home.
With COVID-19 wreaking havoc, in-home caregivers are now compelled to take their hygienic practices to another level, especially when it comes to hand washing or sanitizing. They now must wash or sanitize their hands more frequently than they used to, all to ensure the safety of the seniors under their care.
The importance of finding a way to speak our truth in an environment of people that understand cannot be understated.