Admit it. There is always a time in your caregiving journey when you want to take a long and relaxing vacation. But when that time does come and go, you find yourself in a standstill then you start asking yourself this important question, “What’s next?”
Admitedly, as much as the act of caregiving is tough with all those days stressing and being physically and emotionally tired, seeing the end of it all is tougher. You would always feel a mix of emotions especially when you’ve been through so much and so many years with your patient and sometimes the sense of loss could be overwhelming, it cripples you. This doesn’t apply in death but also in transitions such as senior being transferred to nursing homes or to another caregiver’s watch.
Though it may not be the same for everyone, the majority sometimes feel an overwhelming “void” and they have to face this every single day. They would also have to cope with the sudden change in their routine, sometimes even forgetting that their loved ones are no longer here to be cared for until they catch themselves. According to the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, one out of three family caregivers often experience depression at some point and this is seen to increase and intensify once the caregiving work has ended.
But if you think that these cannot be resolved, think again. Here are a few ways on how you can reconcile with the inevitable.
1.) Talk to Someone
Like how one could manage stress in caregiving, talking to someone about their feelings of the loss will make things more bearable. That’s why support groups are made. They are not just there to serve as helping hands for a stressed caregiver but also for one who has yet to come into terms with the new change. Remember, it is better to let things off your chest rather than keeping them in.
2.) Find a Routine
One of the things noted when one is caregiving, is that caregivers always have this certain routine and when the job is over, they find themselves having a hard time readjusting with their vacant schedules. It doesn’t have to be related to caregiving as you could go take up a hobby or find a new job.
3.) Don’t Put Your Skills To Waste
Just because one chapter of your caregiving life has ended, it is not the end of everything. You could always put your skills to practice by pursuing a career that makes use of your skills. There are people out there that need your skills and you could always put them into play. If having caregiving as a career is not within your sights, you could always volunteer in a nursing home or for a non-profit agency. If ever you do decide to full-time on caregiving, there are educational facilities that enable you to undergo further education as well as launch you to a career involving caregiving. Although most caregivers start off with minimum wages, it does go up on the amount of hours and duties they spend their time on.