Question: My mom is 86 and has mobility issues and some mild dementia. She lives nearby in an independent living facility. I am the only close relative. I also have responsibility for my family and my widowed brother in law and his elementary age children. I am starting to see the effects the stress is taking on my health. Any suggestions on how to juggle all of this?
Dr. Amy: You certainly have a lot on the go. And while there are all kinds of stress management and time management techniques you could think about, I wonder if you might find it more beneficial to sit down and have a good talk with someone about your life, and what is 'enough'. I think you might find it helpful to talk about the big picture—who needs what care, what you can do, what your limits are, and what some workable solutions might be. A geriatric care manager would be an excellent resource for you. I encourage you to read a little more about geriatric care managers.
Women often put everyone else first and end up suffering as a result. It sounds like that is where you might be. Once you get clear about your limits, other questions will resolve more easily. You will be clearer about what you can do, where you need help, and who can be part of your team. Don’t try to do it all. Not by yourself!
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