Abate: Anxiety in Caregiving

Caregiving for our aging parents carries with it a certain low level anxiety. That same ever-present anxiety can be felt while caring for minor children or performing a job that is critical in nature. Our Sandwich Generation, those caring for parents and their children simultaneously, are among these. Life with a side order of anxiety. Supersized, even.

senior advocacy, raleigh-durham, N.C.Recently my own low-level anxiety bubbled to the surface. I was driving in a remote area on a largely unfamiliar road and route and beginning to wonder if I just might be lost. A nervous glance at the gas gauge brought news that wasn’t promising. How long could or should I continue? This horrible feeling was fear, full of unknowns (and a “Darn it, you did this to yourself”). I wanted to AB-ATE that awful feeling. Now. I even uttered the word ‘Abate,’ no kidding.

Finally I saw a sign “8 miles to…”and I quickly tried to calculate whether or not I might make it. I made a determination based upon the knowledge that I had (car/route/history) and the new information (sign, newly gained bearings).

The gas gauge’s signal that less than 1/8 of tank remained was like salt in an old wound. The pain seemed familiar, like needing and coaxing cooperation from a piece of equipment you knew to be on its last leg, on borrowed time… I knew this emotion, this anxiety, and it was familiar to me… from caregiving.

While caring for my parents I was continually weighing every activity that I must do off that priority. The constant would always be caregiving. Responsibility, the first consideration. My time, route to soccer practice, who else is in the carpool, what will be for dinner along with quick inventories of what was even at home to prepare -all moving targets – all bounced off of caregiving.

And for me that IS caregiving.

Caregiving is a backbone, and your own schedules and needs and those of others in your realm are the ribs. The tree trunk and the limbs. But all the To-Do’s and weighing and balancing produce low level anxiety. The switch is always ON, at times with volume rising.

I could remember the same anxiety relative to medical appointments. Filled with “shoulds” or simply a feeling that I just didn’t know, I would attend an appointment to receive the doctor’s determinations. Then I would begin that familiar course of gauging the new information in hopes of resetting the anxiety level. I would factor in new information into what was already known; I would decide what to adopt and what was believable or correct and make my own determination. All this was so automatically performed, and in the blink of an eye.

Inside caregiving anxiety is simply not a good place to live, folks. It is not easy, and the elusive OFF switch evades us.

During that same road trip my thoughts turned to isolating that feeling and what I knew it to be. I would give anything to abate it, to reset that anxiety level. Fear, exposure, vulnerability, and resentment that it was In My Face.

I thought about commonality, the universal feelings. I also thought about how it relates to our work here at NAVIGATE NC. You know, we GET IT. We have experienced that pain-fear, and we have wanted to abate ours, too. We have developed both helpful and effective methods that results in abatement. We add a valued perspective plus our own ever-present desire to help others.  Here’s how:

NAVIGATE NC abates caregivers’ low level anxiety by providing new information and walking with you to your determination. We add the experience of someone who has done this before. You will have a fresh set of eyes (and perhaps a fresh set of legs) and another perspective or sounding board. NAVIGATE NC abates that low level of anxiety by providing solutions. Our Advocates assist you by managing caregiving, assisting you with decision-making, providing education, locating resources and bringing you Peace of Mind.

When do you notice your low-level anxiety rising to the surface? Call us (and count on us) for abatement, set a free consultation to discuss your concerns and learn how we can help. NAVIGATE NC offers solutions for seniors and the people who love them. (919) 628-4428 or Connect With Us www.navigatenc.com.

Image Source: BigStock

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