Sharing the Care

Letters from Madelyn – Chapter 10
“Elaine Gets Married”

caregiver celebrates a new beginningCaregiving can be a lonely journey, so if you can engage in real conversations and be an active listener, you will be sharing the care and helping ease the caregiver’s burden.

In this episode of “Letters from Madelyn” my mother is struggling to cope with Dad’s decline and the approach of winter. She recognizes that she is depressed.

At the same time, she’s happy about my wedding. She often said that she lived vicariously through my experiences. Although she couldn’t begin to imagine why I would exchange my freedom for a husband, she loved hearing about Alex, his work, his children and the adventures we were having together.

Our communication was simple. She wrote letters. I called her on the phone. I told her everything that was happening in my life, and she was honest about everything that was happening in hers. I wasn’t aware at the time, but I believe now that telling her my stories and being genuinely interested in hearing hers, was a way of sharing the care of my dad.

If you have a parent/child relationship in which one of you is a caregiver, I’d like to encourage each of you to share as much as you can about your life and your feelings with the other. When you share your joys and accomplishments as well as your failures, heartbreaks and fears with a caregiver, it gives him/her something else to think about. Even if it’s only a short break, they get to step outside of their caregiving role, and that can be tremendously beneficial. It also gives them permission to be open and honest with you.

If you aren’t as lucky as I was, and if you don’t have a loving, trusting parent/child relationship, you can still be truthful. Sharing what’s happening in your life and being straightforward about your feelings and your needs can help you set boundaries. Maintaining a healthy balance in your communications is a joy in a good relationship, and it could help make a contentious relationship a little easier to manage.

Click here to listen to Chapter 10 – “Elaine Gets Married”
Play Chapter 1

 

If you’d like to order an autographed copy of my book,
click here: Letters from Madelyn, Chronicles of a Caregiver

Letters from Madelyn, Chronicles of a Caregiver book cover