Caregiver Diaries

Caregiver Diaries-Episode 12

January 15, 2021 CaregiverSaathi Season 1 Episode 12
Caregiver Diaries
Caregiver Diaries-Episode 12
Chapters
Caregiver Diaries
Caregiver Diaries-Episode 12
Jan 15, 2021 Season 1 Episode 12
CaregiverSaathi

Welcome to the 12th episode of Caregiver Diaries!

We often think that moving in with your loved one who is ill, makes your caregiving journey far more easier. Here is Rashmi's story, an invisible warrior, who has been a caregiver to her father who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease over 10 years ago. Packing up your bags and family to move in with your elderly parents, out of the blue, is never an easy task. It was not just her that was compensating and sacrificing things but her son and husband as well. Hear her talk about the stigma she faced, being a daughter but how with her husband as her backbone, she managed to stand her ground.

"The biggest takeaway and the largest lesson that this role has left me with is that this relationship has to be 80-20." She says that as a caregiver, one should operate on the assumption that they need to be more accommodating 80% of the time and expect things to go their way only 20% of the time.


If you can identify with this story, please share it with others who care for someone and help them share too. The feeling of being understood, not being alone and access to support is what keeps caregivers going. 

Sharing your story helps understand yourself — feelings, passions, hopes. It lightens the load and offers relief from loneliness, anxiety, anger or guilt. Our experiences and hopes can benefit others - to know that the challenges are the same, learn new ways to cope and care… they aren’t alone but part of a team. 

Spread the love and share your caregiver stories at https://caregiversaathi.co.in/share-your-story.html

For more information on our initiatives and to understand our support please visit our website https://caregiversaathi.co.in/

If caregiver support resonates with you then please donate to our cause at https://caregiversaathi.co.in/donate-funds-form.php

©️ 2019 Caregiver Saathi. All Rights Reserved

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Published: Jan. 08, 2021 @ 4PM Edit

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Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to the 12th episode of Caregiver Diaries!

We often think that moving in with your loved one who is ill, makes your caregiving journey far more easier. Here is Rashmi's story, an invisible warrior, who has been a caregiver to her father who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease over 10 years ago. Packing up your bags and family to move in with your elderly parents, out of the blue, is never an easy task. It was not just her that was compensating and sacrificing things but her son and husband as well. Hear her talk about the stigma she faced, being a daughter but how with her husband as her backbone, she managed to stand her ground.

"The biggest takeaway and the largest lesson that this role has left me with is that this relationship has to be 80-20." She says that as a caregiver, one should operate on the assumption that they need to be more accommodating 80% of the time and expect things to go their way only 20% of the time.


If you can identify with this story, please share it with others who care for someone and help them share too. The feeling of being understood, not being alone and access to support is what keeps caregivers going. 

Sharing your story helps understand yourself — feelings, passions, hopes. It lightens the load and offers relief from loneliness, anxiety, anger or guilt. Our experiences and hopes can benefit others - to know that the challenges are the same, learn new ways to cope and care… they aren’t alone but part of a team. 

Spread the love and share your caregiver stories at https://caregiversaathi.co.in/share-your-story.html

For more information on our initiatives and to understand our support please visit our website https://caregiversaathi.co.in/

If caregiver support resonates with you then please donate to our cause at https://caregiversaathi.co.in/donate-funds-form.php

©️ 2019 Caregiver Saathi. All Rights Reserved

Episode is Live

Published: Jan. 08, 2021 @ 4PM Edit

Unpublish


Add a Transcript

Get episode better indexed by search engines.


Add Chapter Markers

Listeners can tap through & see what’s coming up.


Create a Visual SoundbiteBest way to share to social media for engagement.

Share Episode On

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Email Link to Episode Copy

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You know I read somewhere that constant exposure to a particular stimuli, often results in it losing its ability to evoke a response. Sometimes I wonder if that’s what happened to me during my journey as a caregiver. Having been in this role for my father, who is suffering from Parkinson’s for over 10 years now, there are a lot of things that used to effect me terribly and irk me constantly in the initial few years that I have begun taking in my stride now. 

A dynamic, strong headed and iron-willed man who has taught all his children the importance of being independent all through our childhoods, seeing our father reducing into a meek and passive being was a hard pill to swallow for all of us. Initially, a few years into papa’s diagnosis, my parents were living on their own in Noida while I lived in my own house in Delhi. The hospital runs, doctor’s appointments, medicine requirements and general support that I was providing them resulted in me having to visit their house up to thrice a week. In addition to the constant worry and the never ending checklist of things to do running in the back of my mind, it got extremely tough to properly balance my duties for my own house and that of my parents. I started feeling drained and unable to give my all to either places as well. It was almost after 5 years of things being chaotic like this that I finally thought…. Something needs to change, I cant go on like this anymore.. and it was then that we decided to move in together. You know its funny, I somehow had assumed that all my problems will vanish once we live together as both my worlds would come together… but this new living arrangement came with a fresh set of knots to be untangled.

My belief that they are my parents and our understanding of each other would facilitate a comfortable living space, but very soon adjustment issues started cropping up, and small-small things that I was oblivious to while living apart started coming to the fore… Yes it was tough, but then over time as I said, I became immune to it and I realised that it is weird for them as well and a middle ground needs to be reached for the house to be a positive place for everyone. I feel like this is a big responsibility that I have taken on, since now both my parents are fully dependent on me. My father, physically and my mother, emotionally. I think one of the things I have struggled with the most is having to be strong for them all the while tackling my own low moments of distress. We have to counsel papa often as he breaks down because it bothers him to be so dependent on us, he often misses his old, fast-paced life…the one he lived on his own terms. 

You know, I think that in addition to this being hard for us, this journey is especially hard for children living in the house. So, apart from all this being a huge change for my husband and I, it has also deeply changed the life of my son. Even though he is very sympathetic and sensitive towards his grandfather, initially it used to bother him greatly that a lot of his plans are getting cancelled and that every decision requires so much debate, but over time he has grown to accept it. I think in many ways witnessing caregiving can make a child very sensitive and caring. Watching us care for his grandparents like such has let him see a slice of reality and has pushed him into being a better person. But, initially the anguish that he was facing also used to substantially add to my mental exhaustion. Over the years, this role of a caregiver has changed me in many ways for the better. I feel like I am miles away from the hyper, fast-paced and overreacting person that I used to be. Caring for papa has filled me with patience and I find myself being much more calm and stable. I think things through and there is just a sense of level-headedness in me now. I am eternally grateful for the amount of growth that caregiving has brought me. 

The role that society plays in one’s journey as a caregiver is often pushed to the side lines, but I truly believe that it has great impacts on the mental health of a caregiver. I faced a lot of stigma, being a daughter, it was apparently a big deal for me to move in with my parents as the society deems only the men worthy to take care of their parents. But I think during all this, when we were showered with confusion and apprehension, it was my husband who was extremely understanding and took the decision to get a bigger house for all of us. I think he has been my pillar of strength all these years and I do not know what I would do without him to lean back on. We look out for each other, we ensure that we are living our lives to the fullest, we have a group of friends who we meet often to unwind and relax. Both of us have understood that we’d be able to provide my father with top quality care only when we ourselves are happy and well rested, so we ensure we do that as much as possible. 

Papa is stable now, and life is going on peacefully. The biggest takeaway and the largest lesson that this role has left me with is that this relationship has to be 80-20. The caregiver should operate on the assumption that they themselves would need to be more accommodating and  more selfless 80% of the times and expect things to be customised their way only 20% of the time. I believe that  once I accepted and made peace with this, caregiving perfectly gelled into my normal life and I was able to ease the burden that used to earlier sit heavy on my shoulders.