Brandon Cabaniss, CFP®
At the Hampton-Pinckney porch fest last fall, I took this photo from mom’s porch to the neighbor’s front yard concert. It was a sweet moment for many reasons. We finally felt more free to be amongst others since the start of the pandemic. We had all gathered as one lovely open community and here I was sitting with mom, so grateful to have her near and reflecting on her journey.
During the pandemic, many found themselves in a caregiving role. Some residents at long term care facilities moved back in to live with their families. Some that lived alone or needed support moved closer to their sons or daughters and their families. For the caregiver, this sudden change likely caused some disruption emotionally, possibly physically as well. Many found themselves managing the finances of their loved ones and possibly even depleting their own.
My first experience in a caregiving role was about 7 years ago when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She temporarily moved to Greenville and I took care of her along with raising my two little girls. I made a choice not to return to work full time and was able to focus on her care while in treatments. It was a roller coaster of difficult treatments and surgeries. It was so important to me to be there for her and it brought us so close, yet there were intense moments of struggle and exhaustion.
On the advice of a friend, I did find some caregiving support and managed to find a little time for yoga and some playdates with my girls and my friends. I am happy to say that mom is healthy and has recovered fully. But it was this experience that told me it was time for her to move closer to me permanently. I am so grateful that she was just down the street when the pandemic shut down happened. I was able to look after her. Now that she is close, we take turns taking care of one another.
The role of caregiving is complex. Sometimes you can prepare for this role, but more often than not, you find yourself in the role unexpectedly. We are aware of the difficulties and have supported clients in the caregiving role. We recommend that you learn how to start the conversation with loved ones if you haven’t had it already. If you are already in the caregiving role and need resources to support you, there are many. Over the course of the coming weeks I will share them with you.
In the coming weeks, I will touch on the following topics:
- Why & How to start the conversation
- Stages of Care – Caregiving Checklist Review (see checklist here)
- Financial Assistance
- Healthcare/Lifestyle Assistance