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What to Do When Caregiving is Over

Many people don’t realize that the transition to a new normal after caregiving ends can be just as hard as the time spent caring for a family member. Adult child caregivers not only have to take care of their loved one’s matters once they pass away, but they also have to find a new normal for themselves — all while navigating feelings, purpose, etc.

Fortunately, there are ways to make this transition more manageable. The tips we listed below will allow you to give yourself the time and space needed to grow, become stronger, and feel fine with your new normal.

How to Transition Post-Caregiving

1. Give Yourself Time to Grieve

You may be so used to the hustle and bustle that comes with caregiving that the sudden halt to your routine may shock you. Instead of trying to immediately replace that busyness though, you will want to give yourself time to grieve and relax.

Doing this will allow you to free up energy that you couldn’t while you were caregiving. You’ll gain insight into your loved one, your new normal, and how you can start planning to move forward. The key here is to not give yourself a time limit: give yourself all the space and time you need to heal and grow.

2. Think About How to Use New Skills

You probably didn’t think about it, but your caregiving allowed you to develop many new skills in a variety of areas. While taking care of your loved one, you handled schedules, administered medications, organized important documents, and so much more! These skills are extremely valuable in many ways, and now that you have them, you can use them post-caregiving.

Some ways to consider using them include:

  • Volunteering at hospitals
  • Getting a job as a health aide
  • Help friends, neighbors, and other loved ones with their health needs
  • Unofficially teaching others about caregiving

3. Prioritize Your Health

Prioritizing your health once caregiving is done is crucial because you most likely put it on the back burner for some time. You’ll want to make sure you address how you’re currently feeling, what can be done to improve your mental and physical wellness, and establish reasonable routines.

When thinking about what you can change, consider these:

  • Getting a checkup or physical with your doctor
  • Creating a fitness routine
  • Creating a healthy meal plan
  • Developing hobbies that can help you relax mentally

4. Find New Fulfilling Interests

Post-caregiving is an optimal time to rediscover hobbies you loved, and to develop new interests. Because you’ll have more free time, don’t be afraid to try new things that you normally wouldn’t have done like classes, exercise routines, community events, etc. 

The best part about this is that if you spend a little time searching, you’ll be able to find new activities that don’t cost anything, aren’t overly taxing, and will give you the chance to fulfill yourself with something different!

Additional Resources

Self-Care for Family Caregivers

Dealing with Grief, Loss, and End of Life

Healthy Hive

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