It’s been a few weeks since our self-professed “grumpy old man” got thrust into the role of full-time caregiver. Let’s catch up on what has been going on with him, his injured wife, and their pets. (If you missed the first 2 parts of this story, you can find them here and here)
“It’s now been two weeks since my wife’s ankle surgery, and things are starting to look up. Between the local Senior Center and my insurance company’s benefits department, I’ve been able to get the equipment and supplies I need, and now we have a rehab lady coming by twice a week with exercises for her to do, and a home health aide to help her with bathing. My daughter provided me with a set of simple crock pot meal recipes (she even included a shopping list!), and now my wife is impressed with my pot roast and chicken “creations.” I’ve discovered that crock pots can be a man’s best friend when he doesn’t know how to cook. A few minutes preparation in the morning before she gets up, turn on the crock pot, and dinner is taken care of!
She may be impressed with my “cooking,” but the constant pain is getting to her. And the constant demands of caregiving are getting too me. We are often short with one another, as we forget what the other is going through. I’m finding it takes real work to remain empathetic to her pain and needs. Mycounselor recommended morning meditations for me to help me focus on compassion and I think they are helping. They are certainly helping me relax, and I think I’ll keep doing it even after this period is over.
My wife has a friend who went through a similar injury, and it helps her to have somebody other than me to talk to. I wish I knew another guy who’s been through this so I could get some support as well. At least I can take some comfort in the fact that I’ve not only rediscovered how to take care of myself, but I can even take care of somebody else when I put my mind to it!”
Things see to be on the way up for this client – he is adjusting to his new role, learning new skills, and reaching out to others for help and support. He has developed some new coping skills that seem to be helping as well. I will be talking more about meditation in my next post so be sure to keep an eye out for it.
Here’s a great resource to look into if you are a new caregiver:
The Department of Health and Human Services Eldercare Locator: Just type in your zip code and it provides addresses and telephone numbers of area agencies a like the Agency on Aging, the state Department of Elder Affairs, and the Senior Legal Helpline. These offer information (and possibly help) with such matters as transportation, in-home health services, medicare coverage, meals on wheels, family caregiver support programs, both public and private long-term support options. You may not qualify for all the services available, but they can be very helpful in locating what you need!
Bonus Resource: I know you started drooling when that crockpot menu plan and shopping list was mentioned. So, here you go – a copy just for you: crockpot plan