It’s a $450 billion industry, contributing billions of hours to the US economy each year. What is it? It’s the unpaid healthcare market. Yet because it’s unpaid, it’s one of the most unfocused.
It takes a lot of time, effort, and financial obligations to take care of the people we love the most. Family caregivers are at the core. To provide a level of care and comfort our loved ones need, caregivers continue to sacrifice a great deal from both their personal and professional lives. Careers aren’t the only thing impacted; it hurts our relationships, our finances, our health, even our spiritual needs are often left unattended in the interest of providing the ultimate in care. Over time, it often becomes a core part of the caregiver’s identity.
But what happens when caregiving ends?
When a caregiver’s life has been consumed by the needs of another, a lot of turmoil can occur following the death of the care recipient. How do you refocus on your own life when your life hasn’t been your own for so long?
It can feel a little selfish at first. Instead of putting your energy outward and onto someone else’s needs, you have the time to devote to yourself. Where do you begin? How do you handle the grief and the emotions surrounding coming back to terms with yourself? [Read more…]