Jan 2, 2014
Caring For Your Family
It is no secret that I take care of my mother (who has several health issues) and I sort of take care of my twin sister, who suffers from General Anxiety Disorder.
While taking care of my twin sister when she has a panic attack has certainly become easier as time goes on, I often wonder if I would be doing the right thing by pushing her into certain situations that I know are safe. I want her to get over that initial fear that everything will go wrong or something will happen. Generally she does very well, and is able to go about her day a little more happy. Sometimes something like an unexpected change will happen and her day is ruined. It is a very fine line between doing the right thing and protecting her.
That fine line gets a little thinner when it comes to taking care of my mother. She sometimes needs help doing little things, like the laundry. I want her to continue having her independence, but I do worry about her doing things by herself when I know she needs help. That is where the stressful part comes in. You never want your mother to feel like she can't do anything anymore. She sometimes has problems remembering things, even if we told her a day ago. It is heartbreaking to see it happening. But I continue on and try to make life as easy as possible for her.
One major piece of advice I do have is not to let yourself get too stressed out. If you get too stressed out, the person you are caring for will be able to tell, and it might make them feel bad that they can't take care of themselves. It could make their problems ten times worse. Of course, you don't want that. You can't always control what is going to happen, so you need to look at care-giving are a positive experience. You are enriching someone's life with love and hopefully happiness. Life isn't always sunshine and roses but if you let stress get to you so much you want to give up, who is going to look after that person who entrusted their lives to you? They depend on you, so don't let them down.
I try to never let Twin or Mom down, and whenever there is an argument, I try to listen to their side of the story. Are they afraid something will happen they can't bounce back from? Do they want to try something different from what they've been doing but not sure where to start? If you find yourself in an argument with someone you care for? Listen to them. They just may need an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on.
I can sum all of this in 2 words: Be there. That is all they need.