Anyone who provides eldercare services, either in a professional capacity or as a family member or friend, knows how challenging it can be. Caregiving is an important and complex responsibility that millions of people undertake every day. Outside help from trained advisors or other professionals, and eldercare placement of loved ones, if necessary, are valuable resources that should be considered when appropriate. But as difficult as caregiving can sometimes be, it can also afford us priceless opportunities for growth and can be some of the most rewarding work we will ever do. Here are three lessons eldercare can teach us.
So many of us go through life at full speed. We’ve got jobs to do and places to go, with little time or patience to spare — or at least, that’s how we perceive it. But taking care of an older person often forces us to slow down, to let life unfold at its own pace, and to be patient. Helping a grandmother’s arthritic hands make a sandwich, bathing a grandfather suffering from dementia, or just sitting with an elderly neighbor to chat and share memories — these are opportunities that should be recognized for what they are: gifts of time. Time to slow down. Time to reflect on one’s own life with their loved ones. Time to make a difference in someone else’s life.
Patience requires time and allowing time for thoughtful eldercare takes patience. Tending to the needs of our senior loved ones reiterates this important relationship.
On any given day, we can feel inundated or overwhelmed by what life demands of us, and for many caregivers, eldercare services become a much-needed resource. But taking care of someone, particularly someone who may be vulnerable, teaches us to prioritize what’s important. Time with our loved ones is finite, and looking into the eyes of a beloved older family member should remind us of that. When life’s distractions get in the way and threaten to consume too much of our precious time and energy, taking care of a senior family member allows us to be present in the moment. It asks us to appreciate the weeks or years we have left with the ones we love most and reminds us how important it is to prioritize time with them.
More than anything, eldercare is about compassion — for our loved ones and for ourselves. As the great English author, John Donne, once said, no man is an island. All of us have needed care in the past and will need it in the future, and we will need each other for it. When you hold your elderly mother’s hand or help your father put on his shoes, when you prepare a healthy meal for an older neighbor, you are learning how it feels to be compassionate. More than that, you’re reminding yourself that the day might come when you’ll need the compassion of others — and when that day comes, you’ll know how to accept it.
To find out more about how Senior Care Authority can help you with senior care services and eldercare placement, get in touch today.