By Torie Temple
Evelyn Hunter, facilitator for the Floyd Memorial caregiver support group, and Terry Graham, registered nurse at Helping Hands Companion Services, give the top recommendations to consider when stepping into a caregiver role.
3. Understand the Stages of Grief
Most people associate grief with the death of a loved one. However, the stages of grieving can also be seen with a loss of someone still living. Caregivers who have a loved one suffering from a chronic illness can experience this. “Everybody wants the person they are caring for to be happy,” Evelyn says. “But you have to think about how it will change your life as the caregiver. There is a grief process with this because there is not just a personal loss like taking time off from work to care for your loved one. There is also grieving for the person Mom or Dad used to be.
“Caregivers need to give themselves permission to recognize their feelings. They can be sad, irritable, or in disbelief as long as they recognize this as a part of the grieving process and have others to talk to or a family member that can share the responsibilities.”