After all, we’ve been experiencing social distancing for quite some time now. Of course, we weren’t clever enough to call it this. I mean, we were too busy being sleep deprived, overwhelmed, and overworked to come up with such clever phrasing. We just called it what it is for us. Isolation.
You see, caregiving for a loved one is a funny thing. It doesn’t really matter how much family you have or how many friends you have, either. At the end of the day you’re just too busy and too tired. And, quite frankly, lead too different a life from the masses, to keep in touch.
A caregivers life takes a whole new way of thinking and being. Misunderstood by those that are not. I’ve had many friends over the years say to me things like this. “I don’t call ’cause I never know when a good time for you to talk is.” This is never helpful. “I know how busy you are so I hate to bother you.” Again, unhelpful. Family may say, “You’ve got things under control and you know how busy I am.” So they don’t offer help.
Social distancing at its finest.
Do you see the problem with social distancing?
Because, the truth of the matter is caregiving is the hardest job on earth! Watching your loved one decline is painful. And the work involved in caring for them is immense. We aren’t meant to bear this burden alone. And no, I am not talking about a government solution. I don’t think the government should be involved in any of these type of problems. When they get involved it always seems to empty pockets and leads to an even bigger problem. I’m talking about a community solution.
We can learn a lot from our elders, when it comes to social distancing.
Where, back in the day, they checked in on their neighbors. They took food to them. And maybe, they sat for a spell to shoot the breeze. (Old fashioned terms used intentionally). You can also take a look at communities that still do this in this modern era, such as the Amish. They still honor the elderly and the sick and work as a community to help them. There is more camaraderie and less isolation.
Surely, we can improve social distancing.
I am certain there are an abundance of options that could really serve a caregiver. What if we put our collective thoughts together? How about creating specific “retirement type” communities? Where caregiving help is abundant and paired perhaps with another forgotten group, special needs adult children. This could be a beautiful option. Because, these folks would have the fun aspects of a retirement community! Then, accompany it with layered options of additional supports based on needs. I bet you have some fantastic ideas of your own to share! So, be sure and join the free facebook community, Caregiving Kinda Sucks, and let’s banter about these ideas.
The fact of the matter is almost everyone will become a caregiver to someone at some point in their lives. Let’s shine a light on the problems. Let’s come up with solutions right now. Let’s leave the social distancing to more pressing matters, of the hopefully very rare, pandemics.