As people live longer, caring for an elderly parent or loved one has become much more commonplace. Being a caregiver is an emotionally intensive and time consuming task that can be made all the more complicated when you are in recovery. Among the added responsibility you have for your loved one and all the organizing it entails, it is crucial not to forget yourself, your health and well being, and your sobriety.
It’s important to share your situation with your sobriety support team. This is the time for you to really lean on those in your circle so they are aware of what you’re going through and prepared to support you and your sobriety. Don’t be surprised when you discover that your coach and/or members of your meeting group have gone through, are going through, are anticipating going through exactly the same thing. By sharing your situation you’ll have the opportunity to hear from others how they coped with similar circumstances and have a safe place to vent when it all seems too much.
Ask for help from anyone and everyone you can think of. If you have siblings, aunts, uncles, friends of the family ask if they are willing and available to pitch in. Then graciously accept any and all offers of support. There is so much to be done it’s unrealistic to think you can do it all while caring for your family, working at your job and maintaining your sobriety. And a support team comprised of people your elderly loved one is familiar with will help them to be more comfortable. Plus, members of the team may have connections to resources and valuable information they can bring to the caregiving effort.
Make your family your top priority. Caretaking not only has a significant impact on you but everyone in your household as well. Scheduling sufficient quality time is just as important for them as it is for you. As you set your calendar, be mindful of planning time away when it is the least disruptive to your home life and when you are home focus on being where you are, sharing and caring for family members and allowing them to share with and care for you.
There are multiple organizations all across the country that offer services for seniors that can help lighten your load. Look for a senior center in their area where your loved one can spend time among their peers. Meals on Wheels provides not only food but a daily visit that can serve as a wellness check. AARP and National Council on Aging have valuable information about resources that you can tap into to receive additional health and wellness support for your loved one.
Inasmuch as taking care of elderly loved ones is important work it is equally, if not more important, for you to take care of yourself. Caregiver burnout not only threatens your sobriety but your physical and mental health as well. You can look into getting additional support for yourself through groups for caregivers like ACAP – Adult Children of Aging Parents or NFCA – National Family Caregivers Association. AARP has an extensive list of groups and resources available for senior caregivers.
Being there with and for your loved one in their waning years can be one of the most challenging and rewarding times of your life. Prioritizing yourself is key as you make this journey. So is allowing yourself to roll with the punches and accept the love and support of those around you. Together, you all can make it work.
If you, someone you know or someone you work with needs sobriety support while caring for a loved one, a Recovery Coach can help. For more information you can visit our website.
The Recovery Coach NY provides Family and Individual Coaching, Companions & Transport Services, Intervention and emergency services. We have years of experience and a vast array of resources that can help those in need find the path to the life they deserve, filled with joy and purpose. We come with an empathetic ear and solution-oriented actions that can begin to bring the relief you and your loved one seek.
You can reach out to Cindy Feinberg, President of The Recovery Coach NY via:
Phone or text: 631-921-4085
Email: [email protected]
Through her website: www.therecoverycoachny.com
Follow Cindy on Instagram: www.instagram.com/therecoverycoachny