Nobody wants to think about their parents growing old, getting sick and no longer being able to care for themselves. But it happens. And when that time comes, you are faced with making an incredibly difficult, and even painful, decision about care. Do you become a caregiver or put him somewhere where he gets the care he needs? I know this first hand because I went through it with my own father.
Being a Caregiver
When my father was diagnosed with cancer this last time, he went downhill quickly. It seems as if it was just weeks before he went from being able to live on his own to needing almost around the clock care. My sister and I hated the thought of putting him into home, so we became his caregivers. Fast forward a few more weeks, and due to my sister’s later-in-life pregnancy, I was on my own.
Being a caregiver for a family member or friend is truly one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done. I was so focused on my father’s care, I hardly took any time for myself. Yet how could I? In addition to caring for dad, I was also newly married, raising a troubled stepson, trying to start my own business, and dealing with everything else that pops up in day to day life.
My stress levels went through the roof, my mood was all over the place, and I could hardly take the time to catch my breath. It didn’t take long before that stress was wreaking havoc on myself, my family and my dad. I was caring for my dad (and everyone else), but had forgotten about caring for myself. Life had truly hit the fan!
When Life Hits the Fan
Did you know that more than 44 million Americans provide care for family members and friends with chronic illness or conditions that require day to day assistance? The majority of caregivers do this out of real compassion and love, or from a sense of duty for the person they are caring for. Whatever the reason, caregiving is truly a labor of love.
And it can be exhausting. Especially if the caregiver also has a family, a job and other responsibilities. It’s so easy for things to start to fall through the cracks, including caring for their own health.
When Life Hits the Fan shares the experiences of several caregivers and activities that they can do to take care of themselves, body and soul. The practices in the book come from the author’s training in mindfulness, emotional intelligence and positive psychology, as well as her own caregiving journey.
With a practical approach to stress reduction and easy to follow exercises, When Life Hits the Fan helps us understand what’s going on inside our minds and our bodies and ways to create resilience and care for ourselves. I’ve read it, and I truly wish I had had it when I was caring for my dad.
Reader Review of When Life Hits the Fan
This review of When Life Hits the Fan explains the book perfectly!
“When your world gets turned upside down to care for a sick loved one, “When Life Hits the Fan” is an essential guide to keep you grounded. Janet has created a highly valuable blend of real-life caregiver stories, science-based background, and easy-to-implement exercises. Every chapter gives you a greater understanding of what’s happening inside of you – physically, mentally, and emotionally – as well as practices to keep yourself centered and calm. To learn specific ways you can help yourself during trying times like these helps you stay healthy… and sane. Do yourself a favor, or someone you know who needs support, and get this book.”
If you are a caregiver, don’t forget to take the time you need for yourself. And if you need some help, be sure to check out When Life Hits the Fan.
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