Daughterhood Circles, founded by Anne Tumlinson, are in more than twenty states across the country and Canada. Their audience is directed at the adult-child caregiver finding that most of their clients are women, because it is true that most family care partners for our elder senior parents are daughters. The circles are a focused support group, a face-to-face women’s group, encouraging friendships where everyone “gets it.” It’s a network for community resources, information, and ideas expressed by those in the trenches. What separates this concept from the standard support group is that it is directed towards needs of a childcare partner, not a specific disease.
A daughter might perceive her inability to change things as a personal failure in caring for her parents. Daughters generally do the heavy lifting responding to the day-to-day, day in and day out, caregiving needs, including those that fall into the category of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), also known as BATTED: bathing, ambulation, toileting, transfers, eating, and dressing.
As time passes, days become weeks, weeks become months, and months become years, the care partner may feel trapped, having so little personal time. Here are several suggestions to moderate the feelings: first evaluate your expectations. Does it matter if mom or dad wears a plaid shirt with striped pants? They are well-groomed and attired - moving right along. Incorporate things during your day that bring you some respite care. Small goals may include a fifteen-minute walk, listening to music, reading a chapter, or meditating. Bigger goals might include eating dinner out, going to a movie, or attending a support group. Setting your sights even higher might include a massage, a spa day, or even going on a cruise. Respite care for your loved one is available for a few hours, overnight, or even longer.
Through the caring journey, continue to evaluate:
- What am I able and/or willing to do myself?
- How will I incorporate helping aides providing me with respite care?
- What will I do with the time I have after receiving help from others?
- What will I do for myself?
Life Lesson: Sometimes, it’s important to recognize that good enough is good enough. Care for a care partner is as essential as it is for the care receiver. We are in this circle together.
For more information, please check out the website Daughterhood.