I’m a Minnesotan, and I’m tough. I can handle sub-zero temperatures, icy roads, and another year the Vikings weren’t in the Super Bowl.
And if I’m a caregiver, I may even be tougher – I can juggle a job, kids in whatever version of school they’re having now, and still check in on Dad, who’s living alone out on the farm. Groceries, medical appointments, online meetings at any time – I’m juggling it all.
But what I may be starting to realize, what I maybe can’t handle, is that I’m . . . lonely.
We worry quite a bit about our seniors, whose worlds have become so much smaller since they can’t get out for coffee with friends, quilting groups, church, or whatever kept them active and engaged. But we rarely take a moment to think about caregivers, who can also feel disengaged from the life they used to lead before becoming caretakers.
Caregivers are certainly very busy people, but as the needs of their loved one increases, their personal time with their own family and friends decreases. As the demand to meet a parent’s or spouse’s medical or cognitive needs increases, the time available for a caregiver’s self-care shrinks.
Meeting the emotional needs of both care receiver and caregiver is something that we at Interfaith can help with. The article linked below, Isolation and Loneliness in Caregiving, can be a starting point for those who in a quiet moment may realize that they are missing some personal connections they need and deserve.
Interfaith also has support groups that can help. If you’re a caregiver, our Caregiver support group meets the first Tuesday of each month in Kiester. We also have a group for those with Parkinson’s Disease and/or their caregivers, plus a group for caregivers of those with dementia. Check our information here or call the office for more information on these.