Taking Care Of Yourself
Episode # 45
When your caregiving for somebody who has dementia. You get all wrapped up in taking care of that one person. You forget about taking care of yourself. Will this week I was able to take care of myself a little bit, due to the fact that I was able to get away from the house for all of about 6 to 7 hours on Saturday.
Being able to get away from the house and not happen to worry about mom for 6 to 7 hours really helped to recharge my batteries per say. I was able to go about 40 miles away from the house. Which was close enough to get back to the house if I needed to but it was far enough away from the house that really enabled me to relax and enjoy myself, all by myself with a friend from our church.
I haven’t yet been able to do that for a long time. You see, because when I do go out, even if it’s just the wife and I for a movie. I get the feeling guilty because I’m not the one here in the house, taking care of mom. I feel like I’m the one that’s supposed to be taking care of her. I feel very guilty when we do go out and it’s something that I need to work through slowly but surely. Going out this past week has really given me the mental capacity the strength that I can take care of mom and once again for an extended amount of time.
When you take care of somebody who’s got a mental disease or has a physical problem. After so long, you get the feeling like you’re the only one that cares you’re the only one that will take care of that person correctly and it takes a lot of mental strain out of you because you don’t feel that you can trust other people to take care of that one that your taking care of.
It doesn’t matter what you do, who you do it with, or how you do it as long as you get away from the responsibilities the functionality of taking care of the one that you’re taking care.
You see, I didn’t do anything, in particular, Saturday I went down and talk to a friend of 30 years, who was about 40 miles away from the house. We did absolutely nothing important. We witness had some keys made some light bulbs changed in a truck and just overall just hung out. Talked a little bit about the podcast that I’m doing talked a little bit about mom and how she’s doing, but absolutely nothing of importance and you’d be surprised at the how much better you would feel just getting out from under all the responsibilities of taking care of somebody.
That don’t get me wrong, I still felt guilty because I wasn’t the one here taking care of mom, but the wife was here and she took care mom just fine. When I got home that night Mama was fine. Dinner was just about ready to be put on the table. The wife was fine. She was in a good mood. Mama was okay running Mama was okay Mama was Mama moving you know you can’t really explain but for Mama Mama was okay mom was in good spirits. And I felt more relaxed, more able to function once again with all the responsibilities of caregiving.
When Mama 1st got pretty bad with this dementia, meaning she was forgetting a good bit. People were telling us that we needed to take care of ourselves so that we could take care of mom easier. Okay, was her feelings. What does that mean I thought a step in archival to the children were like what. So it just sort of hung there and we didn’t think anything more about it.
We were talking on the phone to a friend and she said something about the town the County or someone having a support group for caregivers. And I thought okay yeah that’s all I need a bunch of quacks tells me how I’m supposed to feel that’s all we need.
Well, lo and behold time went on and we thought it might do us some good well, Stephanie thought that it might do us good. I was still like yeah right. That’s all we need to bunch of quacks tell us that were supposed to field help supposed to deal with things.
Stephanie eventually talked me into trying a support group. So we found a caregiving support group here in town, that gave us a lot of good information and it also got us out of the house for about 3 hours every 3rd Sunday and it still does. Where learning a whole lot from the support group actually more than what I thought we would. One of the things that they keep telling us in that support group is the fact that you’ve got to take care of yourself if you don’t take care yourself you can’t take care of the one that you’re supposed to be taking care of. And that statement made no sense to me no sense to me at all, until I started getting out just a little bit and realizing the more I got out, the better I felt.
I said, the better I felt because Stephanie and Michael are out of the house 5 days a week working. Now yes its work, but they do get out of the house there out from under the responsibilities of taking care mom. Me on the other hand, I’m still here in the house with all of the responsibilities of taking care mom.
I do feel like I need to get out more and more now that I’ve gotten out for 6 to 7 hours and didn’t worry at all about mom and how she was taking care of. Since I’ve gotten out, I do feel the need to get out a little bit with Stephanie. I need to create a date night per say, especially in the summertime, At least once a month. That might help Stephanie as well. It’s been a long time since we’ve gotten out for dinner and a movie. Think the last movie we went and saw was wonder woman.