Considering Your Committment

“Begin with end in mind.” This quote from Stephen Covey’s classic “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” always sticks in my mind. “Seven Habits” talks about aligning our actions with our goals and values as a path to greater achievement, meaning and happiness in our lives.

Often it is an emergency of some type that pushes caring for a relative into high gear. Since we are reacting to an emergency, we do what needs to be done without considering what comes next. Not moving into the big picture thinking that Covey refers to with “Begin with end in mind.” causes problems as our caregiving continues. What is needed in an emergency may not be sustainable over a longer time.

Here are some big picture questions to ask yourself and your family members. If you have a spouse or partner and children, they need to be involved in answering these questions too. If you have other relatives who are or should be involved in your family member’s care. They need to be part of the conversation.

Questions for me, my partner/spouse and children: Is the level of care I’m providing now something I can sustain in the future? For six months? For one year? For five years?

What is right for my family and me? Can I afford to take time away from work to care for my family member? Do I want to live with my family member or have them live with me? Do I want to provide hands on care to my relative?

Is caring for my family member emotionally healthy for me? Am I being drawn back into old family dramas that make me feel bad? Can I maintain an emotionally and physically healthy lifestyle while caring for my relative?

What do I want to be able to say about my caregiving experience as I imagine myself looking back on it someday?

Answering these questions honestly is the foundation for what comes next. Your family member’s needs will likely continue to grow and if you just respond without looking at the big picture, you may find yourself overwhelmed. Knowing what you are trying to create and your limits leads to a more balanced and healthier experience.

If you find it hard to answer these questions or to discuss them with family members, that’s when eldercare coaching helps.

Upcoming San Francisco Bay Area Events

If you live in the San Francisco Bay area, here are couple of events that are coming up in April. No Cost! I'd love to see you at these events.

Tuesday April 19, 6:30-7:30pm Palo Alto Family YMCA 3412 Ross Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303 It Takes a Village, Building a Care Team to Support a Family Member

My top tips for how you can build a care team to support you and your family member.

Saturday April 30. 9:30am-4:00pm Eldercare Faire Silicon Valley Community Foundation 1300 S El Camino Real, San Mateo

A day of workshops, panel discussions, demonstrations, information, tools, and resources for people who are caring for elderly loved ones.

Is it Time to Discuss Your Eldercare Challenges with an Expert?

Have your caregiving responsibilities left you stressed, angry or feeling guilty?

Do you suspect that your family member needs help and don't know where to start?

Whether you are an experienced caregiver verging on burnout or a new caregiver who is not sure how to help a family member, you can benefit from Eldercare Coaching.

To experience what's it's like to have an expert in your corner providing advice and resources tailored to your unique situation, click here to schedule a no cost 30 minute consultation ($75 value).

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