Intermittent Caregiving Tips and Resources

Intermittent Caregiving Tips and Resources

For my entire life my grandmother had narcolepsy. This disease prevented her from being able to stay awake which often impacted her ability to function on a daily basis. Then, in my teens she had to have her leg amputated. I was incredibly close to her, so I have done intermittent caregiving almost my whole life. Even if it was just being asking as a child, to go get her pills from her nightstand.

Intermittent caregiving is possibly the most silent type of caregiving. The occasional Dr visits, the occasional hospital stay. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect you or take a toll on your own emotional and physical well-being.

Tips

Field of flowers with the words Caregiving Tips

Be aware of simultaneous balancing acts

All caregiving to some degree is multiple balancing acts. However, Intermittent Caregiving might the most delicate balancing act, yet. Unlike Immediate (i.e. surgery) and Long Term (i.e. cancer or alzheimers) caregiving, your loved one doesn’t need constant care.

So you are constantly balancing the care they are willing to have you help them with and what they are doing themselves. Maybe if an appointment is in the morning they feel comfortable enough to drive. But if an appointment in the late afternoon it might be a different situation.

You are most likely balancing their needs with your job, which can be difficult depending on your employer and their policies. Some companies are starting to offer some type of caregiver benefits. Check out your company’s policies or with HR to understand any caregiver benefits they offer, if anything.

You are also trying to balance your emotions. Things your loved ones used to be able to do easily, now might be more challenging for them. That’s hard to watch. But then on others days they are their normal selves. So you question if you were imaging they are having a bit more trouble than they used to. That’s normal. Embrace all the feelings and emotions you have.

 

Communicate with your loved one

You might *think* you know what is best for them, but ask what they want or need. I wasn’t super good at this, but I did get better over time. I think I’ve done a better job with my Mom than I did with my Grandma. You won’t be perfect at this, and that’s okay.

 

Rotate with family or friends

If possible, take others up on their offer to help. Or ask if they can take your loved to a doctor’s visit or lab appointment. It can be difficult to ask or allow others to help you. It does provide your loved one, someone else to talk to and provides the person you ask an opportunity to be useful too. It also helps you have one less appointment on your already full calendar. A win, win, win situation all around.

 

Encourage their independence

As intermitted caregiving gets more frequent, it’s really easy for you to try to do more them. However, the better thing to do is encourage your loved one to still partake in actives and events they enjoy. It’s hard to do this, but you both will benefit from their acts of independence.

For example: Could you make those cookies and decorate them faster, probably. But they are enjoying the process. Let them and encourage it. This will help their own well-being too. And if you have to walk away, walk away. Come back and offer to help clean up if they would like help. But be prepared for them to say “No, thanks”. Honor that too.

 

Resources

Trees with a river with the words Caregiving resources

Support Groups

I will admit, this isn’t something that I personally took advantage of, but there are numerous support groups for family caregivers.

 

Caregiver Action Network

Is a great resource for any caregiver at any stage of caregiving. I wish I had found them earlier.

Go to Caregiver Action Network website 

 

Courageously Living’s Caregiving Support Cards and Journal Gift Set

Caregiving is hard. It can often feel like you’re doing everything wrong. This gift card set was created to help you acknowledge and ease your stress and frustration while doing caregiving.

Shop Caregiver gifts for others or yourself

Caregiver set: Comfort cards, notebook, pen, letter of support, tea and coffee

Back to blog
  • Uranus Opposition in Taurus, While Caregiving

    Uranus Opposition in Taurus, While Caregiving

    What happens when your Uranus Opposition happens while you a family caregiver? I’m living it right now. Hint: Love, Money, Enoughness, Lack of Freedom and Lots of Learning. It’s ALL...

    Uranus Opposition in Taurus, While Caregiving

    What happens when your Uranus Opposition happens while you a family caregiver? I’m living it right now. Hint: Love, Money, Enoughness, Lack of Freedom and Lots of Learning. It’s ALL...

  • Create a DIY Hospital Comfort Bag for a Someone Who Has a Loved One in the Hospital

    Create a DIY Hospital Comfort Bag for a Someone...

    Create a DIY Hospital Comfort Bag for someone who has a loved one in the hospital. With a loved one in the hospital or going in for treatments, having a grab...

    Create a DIY Hospital Comfort Bag for a Someone...

    Create a DIY Hospital Comfort Bag for someone who has a loved one in the hospital. With a loved one in the hospital or going in for treatments, having a grab...

  • Life After Caregiving

    Life After Caregiving

    The physical, emotional and mental drain caregiving take on you, isn’t always felt while your caregiving. You’re too exhausted from all the immediate caregiving responsibilities that have taken up every...

    Life After Caregiving

    The physical, emotional and mental drain caregiving take on you, isn’t always felt while your caregiving. You’re too exhausted from all the immediate caregiving responsibilities that have taken up every...

1 of 3