It was a classic case of miscommunication. My sister-in-law — a.k.a. the mother of all caregivers, with six school-age kids and, at one time, three live-in elders — was under strict orders to call me at any hour she felt the need, for any reason. Her mother was on home hospice when the text arrived: â€œCan you talk?â€
Eager to help, I texted back, for speedâ€™s sake, a simple â€œY.â€
And then…she didnâ€™t call!
I waited awhile before texting back again, â€œAre you okay?â€
Actually she was all right, had just been wanting to update me, until she got my message — and that had made her a little miffed and hurt. Sheâ€™d mis-read my â€œYâ€ as the word â€œWhy?â€ As in, I was asking her why she needed to talk to me right then, as if I were screening her level of need. (No, no, I quickly clarified. My â€œYâ€ meant â€œYes!â€)
Fortunately, our communication is normally much smoother. (For one thing, I’m much better at spoken or written words than texted ones!)
Every caregiver needs a talking buddy. Talking allows you to offload stresses, large or small. Research shows that the simple act of giving voice to a concern, peeve, or issue takes its impact on your mind and body down a few notches. When you talk to someone else, you feel less alone. Sharing thoughts and feelings leaves you better equipped to manage them. Talk may be cheap, but it’s also invaluable.
Alzheimerâ€™s OrlandoÂ Home Care counselors atÂ Partners in HealthcareÂ are available to talk with you about yourÂ in-home careÂ needs including how to reduceÂ caregiverÂ stress while providing better, affordable care. We are a senior care agency providingÂ Elder Care in Orlando.