As caregivers, we need to be constantly adjusting our sails as we learn what our loved ones need at different stages and often in the same day. This takes a lot of being aware, adaptable and rested.
The fear will always be lurking and tempting us to jump onto the emotional rollercoaster or try to “fix” or “save” our loved ones. Managing our fear is of course a BIG hurdle.
When we’re not in the throes of crisis mode and are past times when a loved one may have been in imminent danger, we need to evaluate what it may be that they need from us in a given moment.
While we may have clear ideas of what our loved one needs, often the thing that may serve them best is simply accompaniment and listening.
Depending on where you are in this journey, you may be thinking, “Are you kidding me? Sit by and just listen when my loved one needs help to get things sorted out?!” I’m not saying this is an always or never thing, not black or white. There is a LOT of nuance here and it isn’t easy and it isn’t the solution in every situation.
They are having their journey and sadly, it’s one of the most painful things we’ll ever do to watch this sad, scary, lonely, messy, hard, pain filled journey they are on.
We all want people in our lives to LISTEN and BE THERE. We don’t always or even often want them to tell us HOW to fix our situations.
So, HOW do we accompany and listen? Again, not easy. Duct tape may be necessary. 😉
3 Tips on HOW to Accompany and Listen:
1. Believe in our loved one.
2. Get comfortable with silence.
3. Breathe a lot.
Today I’m keeping this short, if you or someone you know needs support, we’ve created the HUG Kits and the Recovery Roadmaps “Going from Panic to Plan” webinar series, to help family caregivers in feeling supported, confident, competent and calm in their caregiving.