I’m not a person who keeps track of many numbers or quantifies my life much. How about you? For instance, I don’t know how many movies I’ve been to this year or US states I’ve visited. But, there’s a numbers tool we use in the industry that I like. It asks family members and caregivers to write down how many hours they spend doing something for another family member. In the business, we call it “Caregiving Hours.”
This allows you to reflect on what you’re doing and how many hours you’re putting in. This exercise can lead to the aha moment of: “No wonder I’m exhausted!” You get to see how much you’re doing for another that is in addition to all you’re doing to live your life.
We also ask – Do you want to continue doing what you’re doing? Whoever asks a caregiver that? Who even stops to consider they have an option of doing less (or more?) We just do and do and don’t quantify or step back to check in with ourselves about what we are doing, why, or if we want to continue.
We ask people to say what their strong suits are and how they would like to be involved in looking after a relative. Maybe they want to do bookkeeping kind of work for the person, maybe they’re willing to shop or do laundry. Some relatives like doing the research into resources we provide. Makes sense if there are several siblings, to have each one assigned to a task they are good at and don’t mind doing. Means the help happens!
So, please check in with yourself and decide if you want to ask family or call me for some help. I’m only a phone call away from providing peace of mind (707) 762-5433.