All throughout our lives, we start new journeys over and over again. It’s what makes us human. It’s what adds to our creativity and adventure.
Some we plan for and can’t wait to begin. Marriage, starting a new job, having kids: they all give us a sense the best is yet to come.
But caregiving doesn’t come with those same sensory expectations. We dread the process. Sometimes we ignore the signs, not wanting to face reality until it’s necessary.
Yet, it’s all a part of the journey. It’s called life. And as a caregiver, the more aware you are of what you’ll be experiencing together with your loved one, the more you’ll be able to navigate it positively. Once you focus on the caregiving experience and look at it as a journey, you can identify pitfalls and what it will take to improve them.
Creating The Path
While it might sound like a difficult thing to do, if you define your goals and create a vision of the experience ahead of you, it can change your approach to caregiving. It will help you refine each step along the path as you enter new stages.
With everything you will be facing, there are others that have been there too. While no two journeys are ever the same, you can find guidance to help you along the way. For instance, with Alzheimer’s, there are several stages a person will experience over time. The more you can learn about the process, the more you can plan for each stage. Reaching out for help to understand more and come to terms with each stage will help your journey.
Overcome The Roadblocks
Creating your map is only the first part of the process. It’s the starting point for understanding and improving the journey. A map can be a guide making suggestions along the way. A map can tell you when you need to take side roads to get the job done. It can also help you reach out for help by giving you clues to what comes next in the process. You no longer become the bad guy in some cases – the map helps to confirm what’s next in the process.
Update your findings every day. It gives you a resource to refer back to again and again. Detailed feedback helps you identify gaps and obstacles you’ve already faced and can help trigger things that worked (or didn’t work) in the past. Which allows you to update your map and refine your process over and over again.
You’ll gradually smooth out your processes and approach and become more comfortable with every task, every day.