An advocate is defined as, "One that supports or promotes the interests of another." Given this definition, as a family caregiver, you are the ultimate health advocate, because you are constantly supporting the health interests of your loved one.
For all too many years, I have pondered the question as to how to let go, when in reality, I had already done so. Perhaps not in the terms that a trained mental health expert would prefer, but in my own way. It was the only approach that made sense to me.
Two random things happened last week, which in hindsight, were perhaps not so random and may in fact have been a blueprint for the future. First I ran head first into a problem. And then, I met its solution.
Once all the emotional baggage has been cleared out of the way, you're free to worry about the only thing you really have to worry about, which are the practical aspects of physically protecting your mother from herself.
As a member of the sandwich generation worrying about my adult kids (I'm a mom and I have to worry about my kids even if they are all grown up) and worrying about my elderly mom (who has been ill since the New Year), I often forget to give my own body the "body care" it needs.
A friend of mine recently asked if I would be literary executor of his estate. He's 81, in great health and a fine poet with a couple of books published. I know it's not common to talk about death over coffee, but I was glad we got over the weirdness and could talk about everything.
For Thanksgiving this year, I went home to Connecticut to be with my family. The main theme for this week-long trip went way beyond the one day of festivities. I was primarily there to assist my ailing elder parents.