Caring for a family member who is at the end of her life is not an easy task. Even though you know what is happening, that doesn’t make it easier. Eventually, caregiving is going to come to an end and you need to know what you’re going to do next.
Make a Plan Now Rather than Later
If you’re starting to think about what happens next while you’re still caregiving, that’s okay. You don’t have to feel guilty for wondering what happens afterward. End-of-life care providers can help you to find the tools to work through those feelings and fears. They’ve seen other caregivers go through the same thing that you are and they can point you in the right direction to find your next step.
What Gives You Joy?
Caregivers, especially caregivers to people who are near death, are often very engaged in what’s going on with their aging family member. If you’re not taking the time to find your joy again, you might have a hard time remembering what it is that does give you that warm, fuzzy feeling. Start looking for hobbies and ways to have fun and to enjoy your life now.
You’re Not the Same Person
It’s tough to remember this because you’ve done so much, but you’re not exactly the same person now that you were before. There’s a lot about your life that has likely changed and that has inspired you to grow. What you experienced as a caregiver is just another part of teaching you what you’re here to learn. But that also means that you may not necessarily be able to simply pick up where you left off with other aspects of your life.
You Still Have Knowledge You Can Share
You might want to continue attending support group meetings with other caregivers or reaching out to caregivers in ways that you did in the past. You’ve learned a lot and gone through a lot and you can share so much with people who are now in that same place you were once in. It’s not a bad idea at all to maintain some sort of touch with other caregivers.
Finding an answer for yourself about what happens when caregiving ends depends on so many other factors in your life. Some caregivers jump right back into caring for someone else while others never step into the role of caregiver again. You have control over your future, no matter what it holds.