When I wrote “If I Walked in Her Shoes”, I wanted to spotlight the mindset of both the caregiver and care receiver. Over my 20 years of working in geriatric health care I have witnessed (and personally experienced) a phenomenon associated with caregivers – they immediately turn into task-masters. It’s not a bad thing, as it stems from trying to maintain some sort of control in the midst of work, family and caregiving chaos. However; many times we forget to take time to enjoy time with the person for whom we are caring.
When the book first came out, my friend Mary, who was caring for her mother, shared that after reading the book she was “going to spend time with her mother for no reason and it was all my fault”. She told me that her mother would constantly complain that they never spent any time together. That was confusing to Mary as she saw her mother several times a week. However; what Mary realized after reading the book was that the time she spent with her mother was always caregiving related. She said that even when they went out to lunch together it was always tacked onto the back of a doctor’s appointment.
So here are some tips for spending time together:
- Watch a show together, then talk about it (my Mom and I watch Dancing with the Stars and call each other at each commercial break to discuss the dances)
- Cook dinner together (even if they can no longer cook you can create the menu together and give them a job to do like setting the table or folding napkins).
- If they are able, take them to a movie (or rent one to watch together at home)
- Play a game together
- Have the kids come over and create crafts together
Keep in mind it doesn’t have to be a big event. Get creative and have fun! Most importantly, make it a rule that during that scheduled time there is no talk about related to health care, medical needs or doctor appointments.
Just enjoy time together!
To order a copy of “If I Walked in Her Shoes” visit: www.AlongComesGrandpa.com