Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Better Late Than Never

My friend Joan's mom is battling cancer, and Joan recently set up a page over at CarePages.com to essentially blog about her mom's illness and her feelings about it. I'm sad her mom is sick enough that Joan decided to write about it, but I'm glad to have a way to keep up on her mom's progress and health, without having to ask Joan about it too often.

Anyway, I was exploring the public blogs on CarePages.com and found one called The Life of a Well Spouse. The writer mentioned that November was National Family Caregivers Month, which is something I wish I'd known about while it was still November.

While I mostly take care of myself, Scott makes that possible by essentially taking care of everything else. I try to make a point of telling him frequently how much I appreciate all that he does, but I still worry that he needs his own support network, and I'm not sure he has one.

I did find a link to a group called the Well Spouse Association, which I'm pretty sure I've sent him a link to before. Being the spouse or partner to someone with a chronic illness is different than other kinds of caregiving in many ways.

Anyway, here's a belated thanks to all the well spouses who take care of and love their chronically ill spouse.


Laurie said...

You're right, spousal caregiving and the multiple roles it requires is different. It's constant, and it can put a lot of pressure on the healthy one, regardless of how willing and happy they are to help.

Well Spouse Association is a great resource, and they were very helpful when I was writing the book.

Joan said...

I wish there was an association like wellspouses for parents who caregive for their children their entire life. Being Andy's parents is very different than being Ryan's parent. It creates an entirely different set of restrictions. In fact, most parents I know who manage to work while their child with complex needs is in school often quit or take family leave when they turn 22 and must create a life outside of school. There's litlte assistance that is practical!

I still wish I could constructively write about the sandwich parents like me are in - caring for my child forever, now also caring for my Mom and Mother in law. It's exhausting. And since I've put my kids first since Andy's birth, I have no family leave or paid leave to fall back on. Right now that' is a HUGE stressor.

Anyway. Thanks for sharing hte links. I'll be cruising htem one day for some ideas.