You had been providing senior care to someone, maybe it was a loved one such as your elderly mother or you were hired to be there for a stranger. No matter what your initial emotional or familial connection to an individual, at some point in time, that senior care will end.
Whether it ends because the individual passes away or because they recovered from their illness, surgery, or other ailment, it is likely to leave a vacuum in your life, a hole that needs to be filled.
Here are 5 tips that you can use to help you cope with the end of senior care.
1. Grieve. If the individual for whom you were caring has passed away, whether you were close to them or not, allow yourself time to grieve. Even if this was just a job for you, most likely you built a bond of some sort with that individual. Now that they are gone, your emotions will be raw, so cry if you feel you need to, talk to someone about the loss or emptiness; don’t simply ignore it and pass it off as ‘just a job,’ because it’s so much more than that.
2. Do something you enjoy. If you gave up something that you enjoy in order to be there for the senior, get back to it. Even if you do it for one week, it can help you get back a sense of your own life, your own independence.
3. Talk to other senior care service providers. You might not get the same level of understanding from those around you who have never done what you just did. Speak to others who care for seniors and you will likely see that what you’re feeling right now is normal. That can help you cope better in the long run.
4. Go for walks. It doesn’t matter how old you are, walking is one of the best activities that we can do in our modern age. We simply don’t often get the right level of exercise. Walking can also allow you time to think clearly. Remember the person you cared for, the funny moments, as well as the frustrations.
5. Speak to a counselor. If you’re having trouble dealing with the loss or the end of senior care, speak to a professional mental health counselor. If you try to suppress your emotions, it can lead to problems for you in the future.
Senior care will end at some time. When it does, how you cope will have an impact on your life and possibly those around you. Be sure that you deal with what you’re feeling and don’t just push it all ‘under the rug.’