Yes! You ARE a Caregiver!
As parents, we tend to think of what we do as natural or no big deal. We've been conditioned to think that by placing a caregiver label on ourselves we somehow diminish our child. We don't want to admit that our adult children could cause us stress. We love them! We're used to taking care of them and we wouldn't have it any other way.
“Other 21-year-olds move out and take jobs, but most of these children stay at home,” said Dr. Dykens, the director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. “You have aging parents and aging offspring. You are each other’s for life.”
“Having a child that has a disability, it’s all-encompassing,” he added. “You could see how people would lose themselves.”
Taking Care of You
All parents endure stress, but studies show that parents of children with developmental disabilities, like autism, experience depression and anxiety far more often. Struggling to obtain crucial support services, the financial strain of paying for various therapies, the relentless worry over everything from wandering to the future — all of it can be overwhelming.
One place to start is the Caregiver Action Network. They have a resources page that you might find helpful.
BlogTalk Radio also has a category for "Caregiving" if you'd rather listen to discussions than read.
Please feel free to comment on this article if you have any suggestions for other resources. If you'd like to share your story, please email us!
*Remember - the flight attendants always say, put your oxygen on first, before you try to help someone else...