Has anyone ever experienced this much stress before? The answer is Yes.
All of a sudden, things are much worse. Five of my friends have come down with COVID-19. Luckily, none has died. One was just discharged from the hospital.
Here in Hawaii, as with the rest of the United States and around the world, senior daycare centers have closed. Non-seniors have been told to stay away from seniors and seniors are staying away from each other. Some of my friends had a paid caregiver who is no longer able to come. The husband is managing alone for his disabled wife. Officials are urging patients not to see the doctor unless absolutely necessary. COVID-19 exposure is especially likely in hospitals, clinics, and emergency rooms.
What does this reality mean for caregivers? Many of you may be isolated, taking care of a loved one. and worrying that this will continue to be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a very long time. Some of you might be worried about having enough money for the days and weeks ahead?
I want to help, and I will in the days and months ahead. I promise you that. For now, here is a thought, it may sound overused but: “This too will pass.” Crisis as stressful as—and even more stressful than—the COVID-19 pandemic have happened before.
Are you taking care of a senior in his or her 80s or 90s? Chances are this person has experienced crisis before. What happened during World War II? Maybe this person coped with a war-time economy. Maybe she or he endured sleepless nights wondering about a loved one, Dad or a childhood friend fighting a war far away. Chances are that this individual lived through daily anxiety but lived through it and was able to thrive after it was all over. Today’s caregivers are now helping those individuals continue to enjoy the preciousness of life.
The stress of this moment can be overwhelming. For some, it can feel like you are drowning. But you won’t. This too will pass. After it is over, you will thrive. Afterwards you will be all the happier about life.