Caregiving Thoughts #7

Particularly when caregiving for a loved one, you want to be engaged, sympathetic, and, well, like you care, because you do care. But, like I’ve often said about work, it’s sometimes possible to care TOO much.

I’ve found it necessary at times to remind myself that I’m not the one going off to the ER, so that I can keep a clear head and focus on what the doctor is saying or on driving safely to the hospital (if my cared-for is already there, he’s getting the care he needs and I just need to get there with a minimum of drama; a few more minutes won’t make any difference). I think I understand why doctors and other PHI providers have a degree of detachment.

You may have to make decisions based on medical information, doctor’s advice, and what your cared-for would want. You may need to keep family and friends informed of what’s going on, and they may have input into the situation you need to consider. You may have to address the press (ok, maybe not). This is not the time to get caught up in “oh no’s”. Emotions, especially duress and panic, make for poor decision making (once again, my aviation background comes in handy, because this has been studied in depth there).

Take notes, consider all available information, and make the best decision you can based on the information that you have. If you do that, you’ll have no reason for regrets.

Like rule #1 says, you have to keep yourself in good working order in order to provide the best care for your charge. And, just like adhering to that rule #1, it can be difficult to mentally separate yourself from a loved one so you can focus on the task at hand and Do What Needs To Be Done.

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