Despite all these “Carol-Ann’s Top 10 Caregiver Lessons”, are you still feeling frustrated? Why is that so when I’ve been giving you tips and tools that encourage hanging in there and seeing things through with aplomb? Curious to know more about what makes eldercare such an unrelenting marathon that most people don’t realize?
Healing Is Akin to Change Management
Well, the corporate arena where I spent over 30 years might just provide an answer. Out of hundreds of change management models, permit me to use the three steps of Freeze-Unfreeze-Refreeze as a comparison point. With some creative license, caregivers ‘freeze’ in a state of survival to cope with endless disasters. Just when the trauma appears over, it’s like we slowly emerge out of hibernation via ‘un-freezing’. Yet, things are nowhere close to over.
Healing Is a Personal Journey
Well before any burdened adult child of difficult parents ought to even consider ‘re-freezing’ into a new state, there will be a very individual journey consisting of many personal transitions. I call mine “from Desperation to Inspiration to Hope”. Despair characterized my horror over becoming involved in their increasing issues. Slowly, ways to safeguard my sanity arrived in short creative surges. Only six years after my Dad’s passing did I start to feel like myself.
Healing Is Laden with Myths
Here’s what my coaching clients don’t understand. Bless them. Eldercare is a process and healing “out the other side” can NOT be rushed! Few believe me (until they’re in it) that this chapter of life will confront you with all manner of stored emotions. They’ve gone nowhere since childhood despite years of therapy. Yes, I oppose North America’s strictures to “suck it up” and “get on with it”. Read my lips. Those self-flagellating phrases don’t work!
So, stop beating yourself up. Stop believing that life should magically (immediately) get better after the first Un-cope-able Parent passes away. I frankly thought that in April 2010 when we lost my mother. What I did not internalize was how vital my ultra-stubborn father remained at 88. He continued to wreak havoc for almost two more years.
You can read all about it in Coping with Un-cope-able Systems: ADVOCACY for Eldercare. Or, you can go straight into booking your complimentary Readiness Session to get personalized help right away at https://www.copingwithuncopeableparents.com