When your elderly family member dies and your job as a caregiver is over, what happens next? You might not remember what it’s like not to be a caregiver and that’s okay. It takes some time to get back to a space that’s just about you and what you need.
Lean on Your Support Network
Hopefully by this point you’ve taken advice about making sure that you have a support network in place. If you haven’t, hospice elder care providers can help you to put a network in place. This might involve support groups, therapy, and even reaching out to friends and family to let them know more about what is going on with you.
You’re Going to Feel Relieved and Guilty
Something that most caregivers don’t expect is how relieved the might feel after a family member dies. Your elderly family member may have been dealing with pain or other difficult symptoms and it was probably hard to see her that way. You probably also worked really hard to make life and her situation as easy as you possibly could, even when that was difficult. Along with that relief comes guilt, because none of these feelings you’re experiencing seem like they’re acceptable.
Make Sure You’re Taking Care of Yourself
Now more than ever you need to be focusing on taking care of yourself. It’s really easy to get to the point where you’re not taking care of you the way that you should be. Make sure that you’re eating right, getting sleep, and getting out into the sun for a little while. It might be difficult, but it’s necessary.
Reach out When You Feel Ready to Do So
You might have well-meaning friends and family members who are trying to get you to interact more or do more, but you might not feel ready. Don’t push yourself too hard. Reach out to the other people in your life when you feel ready to do so. if you try to force it, you’re more likely to resent those interactions and that’s not the feeling that you want to experience right now.
If you’ve been a caregiver for a long time, this is going to be a difficult adjustment for you. There’s a lot that you can do to help yourself during this time, especially if you’re able to start thinking about this a little bit before your family member actually passes away.
If you or an aging parent are considering hospice elder care in Allentown, PA, please contact the caring staff at Serenity Hospice today. Call (215) 867-5405.