Lori La Bey is a member of AARP’s blogger kitchen cabinet on caregiving issues. All opinions are my own.
The Caregiver Control Panel
By Lori La Bey, founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks
The first thing I noticed about the “Caregiver Control Panel” was the huge array of tasks and responsibilities I had placed on it.
Second, I found my emotions were running the show. I noticed not only the person I was caring for was affected by the way I cared, but me too! Being focused on my checklist gave me a false feeling of being totally organized and in control. It seemed to give the person I was caring for a sense of security at times, but also made them feel imprisoned by my rules and structure.
When I stepped back to really look at things, I found the person I was caring for was much more interested in the way I engaged them; then how, when or why I completed a task.
Through this process I found there was no way to separate tasks from emotions. They were a package. They were intertwined and I needed to become aware of both; not only for myself but for those I care for.
To my surprise, I found I was more in control by releasing my need to be in control. See for yourself. Take a look at how you care for others. Is your list of tasks all about them, but your feelings attached to each task all about you? Try to separate the task from your emotions. Can you do it? Are there things you should change? If so, what are they?