Care Partners and Change
Have you ever wondered why change is so difficult for us as human beings? Although change is a simple word, it can mean so many things to the person experiencing it. As a care partner, you could be changing homes, changing relationships or routines, or facing something completely different from what you are used to.
Change is a departure from the past. It can feel like you have lost control and can cause uncertainty, which may at times feel very upsetting. You may be second-guessing your own competence to do what you have been capable of doing routinely all your adult life. Everything is different, and while we are creatures of habit and routine, change can jolt us into an awareness that is sometimes uncomfortable. Perhaps the one thing that says it all — change can hurt and take an emotional toll. Your feelings are tied to the fact that every change in life is a loss to some extent. Adjusting to change requires personal strength and perseverance, so be sure to allow yourself to do the following:
- Cry and allow yourself to grieve. Crying is an emotional release that may help you to ease some of the pain and sorrow you may be feeling.
- Take some “you time.” Change is both emotional and psychological in nature so you need to take care of yourself and treat yourself with love.
- Maintain a good support network. Spending time with friends and family may make the changes easier for you.
- Take advantage of formal supports. Personal support workers, day programs, social workers and short-stay respite programs provide you with a much-needed break and help you with your own self-care needs.
While change opens up new avenues, it does mean that something familiar to you has ended. Be kind to yourself and take the time you need to adjust.