The feelings of grief that you experience before your elder family member is gone are called anticipatory grief. They’re just as powerful as the grief that happens after a significant loss and if you don’t deal with it properly, it can be crippling.
Find Friends and Family Who Can Help
If you’ve got friends or family members who have been in a similar situation before, they can be an excellent resource for you now. Find people close to you who are sympathetic to your situation and let them know how you’re feeling. They can share coping mechanisms and other tools with you that can make your journey so much easier.
Join a Support Group
Many people don’t have friends or family who can relate, unfortunately. This is when support groups can really shine for caregivers. These groups are made up of other people who are either in the same spot you’re in or they have been before. They know exactly what it’s like to be a caregiver to an elder family member who is facing end-of-life issues and they can be your support network.
Do Some Research
Podcasts, books, and websites abound with information about this topic and so many more related to caregiving. The more research that you can do as a caregiver, the better. This way you can get many different points of view from experts as well as former caregivers who want to share their stories. You don’t have to spend a lot of time finding these resources, either. Make it a point to find one or two new ones each week and take what serves you and leave the rest.
Be Good to Yourself
One of the most important ways for you to manage anticipatory grief is to be good to yourself. Take respite time, either by enlisting the help of elder care providers or by allowing other family members to step in. Figure out what helps you to get through your day in a healthier, happier way and do more of that.
Grief is different for every caregiver. You might find that you have good days and bad days, but as long as you have a plan, you can work through those feelings.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Bonita FL, call the caring staff at Dial-a-Nurse today. Naples: (239) 307-0033. Ft. Myers: (239) 307-0065.
In 1995 he became Administrator of Dial-a-Nurse nursing agency, the oldest nursing agency in the Southwest Florida succeeding his mother who started the company 37 years ago. He is also President of Nevco, Inc., an educational healthcare training company begun in 1988.
Mr. Wolfendale has worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce on various Missions to improve the quality of life around the world by development of supportive healthcare programs. In 2005 he traveled with U.S. officials and addressed the Italian National Government assisting in the creation of Nurse Education mandates for that Country. In 2006 he was invited and spoke with the National Institutes of Continuing Education in Eastern Europe on healthcare education and developmental mandates, and most recently represented the United States at the European Union in Lake Balaton, Hungary in 2011. In 2014 he traveled with the U.S. Department of State to Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in an effort to improve caregiver knowledge and training.
Mr. Wolfendale has worked with a number of non-profits in contributing and creating curriculum to improve the quality of life in third-world countries since 2001, and notably created a successful program in Odessa, India that has been modeled in other areas of the world. In his backyard, he has worked with local Goodwill Industries to provide curriculum and training to underserved individuals who have obtained employment as a result of educational training. He was the Congressional appointment to the Governor's purple ribbon task force in 2013, and has worked to educate caregivers in all aspects of Alzheimer's training.
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