One of the most stressful parts of my caregiving experience was keeping all of our friends and family updated on my wife’s condition and progress.
After coming home from a day of driving and treatment and more driving, I had a million things to do; take care of Chris and the house and the animals and my business. We would walk in the door and there would be 10 messages on the machine from well-meaning people who wanted to know how she was doing!
I truly appreciated their concern but the last thing I felt like doing was making all of those phone calls and telling them the story. UGH!
On the other hand, I couldn’t ignore them, so what was I to do? It was something that had to be done.
I, however, did not have to be the one to do it! We had offers to help coming out of our ears, so we enlisted a friend to make all of those calls and that sure took a load off.
Eventually, being a computer geek, I started writing emails and sending them to everyone and that was an even better solution because I could tell them in my own words.
Now I have a free website where anyone can post reports and, when they do, we send an email to all of their family and friends. Much easier than maintaining your own list as people can sign themselves up to receive your updates. (This is a free service, so check it out at www.ThePPP.org)
The point here is this is something that must be done. Whether you make the calls yourself, or someone else makes the calls, or you use email or a special website, this is a very important part of your responsibility as caregiver.
It was very difficult for me so by using one of these techniques I was able to remove a great deal of stress. Some people may be comforted by talking about it; if you are one of them then by all means, gab away!
This article is one in a series on coping strategies for patients and caregivers alike. For more thoughts on caregiving, coping strategies, and just plain fun subscribe to my free monthly newsletter at www.CaringAndCoping.com