I'm in my early 20s and have started to care for my dad who lives on his own. Given that I've started on this journey I'd like to be prepared for when the going gets tough, so I'd like to hear about how caregiving changed you. Did you get cynical? Did you appreciate your own health more? Did you try to find help in others or did you become more isolated?
I cared for both parents along with 4 siblings. Parents had a plan that was not implemented and sibs disagreed. It all worked out but - I learned of my own mortality and how my plans may or may not be followed. I found being there as much as was reasonable for my family was better than being there every minute. Hired carers were utilized but mom fought it all the way. Instituion was the end result and nobody was happy. A culture that denies extended family relationships is not a pleasant place to be in some circumstances. Close time with my parents highlighted differences and similarities. Some fun. I hope to make this transition more pleasant for those following me.
I am partially caring for my life partner of 48 years living with MS. This is getting more involved as we go. What I learned here and was reminded I should have learned this with my parents - it can sneak up of both or us. Their needs and my perceptions. It takes a village!
I now care (minimally) for my one year old granddaughter born just short of 25 weeks gestation. WOW! The beauty of life hits me right between the eyes every time we are together.
I am intentionally practicing tolerance and acceptance with all - society at large included. The community around you is waiting to be of assistance. Soemtimes this works out good. Stay at it. Seek whatever there is and use what you can. Some of it will stick. Rememeber to breath.