As a caregiver, you play an essential role in supporting your loved one. You are assisting someone in need, whether near or far. You may have found yourself in this position without notice and become keenly aware of how planning can make a substantial difference. But planning for yourself and your loved ones is more than just a way to make life easier in the moment. It’s a vital part of caring for yourself, mentally, physically, and emotionally both now and in the future.
My grandmother was not the first elderly person to benefit from having a pet, nor was she the last. Pet companionship is fantastic because you can talk to a dog or cat all day, and they don’t care if a story is repeated, or even if you’re talking to them. While it’s true that most pet dogs recognize about the same number of words as the average human two-year-old, what they really respond to is the sound of the human voice.
When we launched our new website in July, 2021, we told you that a new team was on its way to you. Well, the time has finally come, and the synchronicity of all of this is making my heart sing! Our new team members are here, and we are over-the-moon excited about the caliber of the people joining us as well as their credentials and expertise in their fields.
What I’ve learned since then is that caregiving IS improv. Moods change, aging parents sometimes lose track of the here and now, young children resent it when they don’t feel heard, and nobody likes hearing “no.” Improv isn’t a total cure-all, but its core is cooperation. Being a partner – a teammate – to the person you care for is infinitely preferable to being an authority figure or dictator, which is a role too many of us slip into.
When I was a caregiver for years for my mom and brother, I realized I was in uncharted territory, but the moment I connected with other caregivers, my life shifted. Whether it was hearing about emotional issues or discussing navigating healthcare, the connection piece became a powerful lifesaver. That experience is the core of why I started Breathing Spaces years ago. I wanted to offer a connection for others from a place of understanding, and the knowledge that voices must be heard, and stories must be told.