Caregiving, Remember to Stop and Enjoy the Little Things
By Marcie Durian, Senior Resource Specialist, LivWell Seniors, LLC.
Caregiving can be very overwhelming at times, and we have our own things to do when we are not working, so any extra tasks can seem taxing. Just a week ago, I was moving my parents into their new house, they are older, so they cannot not do much physical labor. In the midst of unloading the truck, my phone rang, and it was my father-in-law, whom I care for. He asked, “is anyone going to visit me this weekend?” I felt very sad for him. I knew my husband was working on Saturday, as well as most of his six brothers, and I thought he must be reaching out because he was lonely.
After moving my parents that day, I stopped on the way home at his assisted living, as his voice sounded so desperate and sad on the phone. I was tired from moving all day, but when I got there, my father-in-law was waiting at the door for me to arrive. We loaded up in my car, and visited an ice cream shop, a general store for him to buy some things he needed, and then to his daughter’s grave. From there, we started heading back to his assisted living, and he said to me that the time went too fast and he wanted to stay out a bit longer.
I felt guilty, and asked him where he would like to go. He simply stated, “I want to visit my parents at their grave.” He is 91 years old, and hadn’t visited his parent’s grave for years, or those of his uncles and cousins whom he told me stories about — some hadn’t come home from World War I. I had never been to his parent’s grave before, and it felt so special to share that with him. We stood there for some time, and he told me stories of his childhood with his parents and sister. It really reminded me that, even at 91 years old, he used to be someone’s little boy, and he adored his mommy and daddy. I thought to myself, what if this is the last time he visits his parent’s graves?
From there, we made our way back and he showed me the house he grew up in, as well as the home that my husband was born in right across the street. I had been past those houses thousands of times, and never knew the significance of them. Upon dropping him off at his home, I thought about how much that hour and a half meant to me, and how much I would treasure that time with him. On a day that I was so tired, I felt like I couldn’t fit one more thing in as a caregiver, I realized what a blessing it truly is to spend time with the ones we love as they grow older.
LivWell Seniors serves as a local agency providing community-based resources that are 100- percent free to seniors and their families as they are funded by the senior care providers that utilize their service and network of connections. For further information, contact us at 563-265- 1577, or visit our website at www.livwellseniors.com.
“The gift of friendship… a willingness to listen, a pair of helping hands, a whisper from the heart. That someone cares and understands.”