Welcome to Caregiver Friday!!
Well the numbers are in and unfortunately it’s clear that caregiving is not only an emotional and spiritual issue, but a financial one as well. A report on ABC World New Tonight with Diane Sawyer estimates that caregiving costs the average person $303,000.00. This figure is in lost wages, expenses for caregiving, impact on pensions and social security. I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of money.
Let’s take it one step further than just numbers. What about the emotional cost of caregiving. How can you put a dollar amount on worry? What’s the physical impact on you, the caregiver? What has caregiving cost you spiritually as you strive for explanations about how this phase of your life materialized? What does it cost you mentally to feel out-of-control and at times at the mercy of an illness that’s not even in your own body?
I don’t believe the Congressional Budget Office could factor this monetarily, only you can determine the cost to your body, mind, and spirit. I guess the bigger question is aside from the obvious aspects of caregiving; how can you cut the expenditures? I just received an e-mail about using writing in a soulful manner and the it shared a bumper sticker that said, “Life is Fragile, Handle with Prayer”. I’m not saying that you need to pray to get through the day or to reduce the impact of caregiving on your soul, but finding ways to curb the expense to your spirit is important. It will allow you to build up resources in your emotional bank so when necessary, you can make withdrawals without running a deficit (leave that to the government).
How will you cut your personal costs to caregiving? Unfortunately in this day of extreme couponing, there’s no coupon that can give a reduced impact on your soul. Find outlets to release the negative energy impacting your body, mind, and spirit. Engage in pleasurable activities, have a lovely meal, engage in a creative activity, join a support group, make an appointment with a spiritual advisor, contact a coach, talk to a psychotherapist, journal your thoughts, whatever you choose I hope it reduces your personal cost of caregiving.