It has been a while since I posted to this blog. I have been a frazzled senior in college, working to complete dual degrees. I can happily say, I have graduated. Now I can dedicate more time to the things I am passionate about. This includes writing about caregiving, writing my books, and getting into a rewarding career.
The past few months have been filled projects, papers, reading, and senior seminar classes. I now have a Bachelor of Arts in English, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and a Human Resource Management Certificate. It took me six years to achieve these degrees, all while caring for a mentally ill child, and a child with a severe heart defect. Thankfully, my husband and I make a great team.
I know the difficulties involved in caregiving as I live them each day. There isn’t a day that goes by where I do not struggle with my son, having to work closely with him, encourage him, repeat myself for the thousandth time, and address his behavior in some way. He is more work than a typical full-time job at times. But, he is also rewarding. When he works hard or accomplishes something, it is that much more impressive, and I am proud. I am not sure how I managed to work on dual degrees, succeed in leadership roles, and care for my family at the same time, I just know I did it because they are all important elements of my life.
I truly believe that I can use my skills to address the growing concerns that affect caregivers. I know there are various types of caregivers, from the people like my parents who care for aging parents and my aunt who is battling cancer, to those who care for sick children and the mentally ill. The battles with personal freedom and care for caregivers, respite care, insurance conflicts, and family dynamics are merely a few of the problems that arise. With an aging population, the need for families to step up as caregivers is elevated. In the coming years, more and more issues will arise until people begin to address the conflicts of caregiving. While it is rewarding for many, that does not erase the challenges that must be faced daily, and the toll this can take on families. It does not change the lack of resources and need for advocacy when a family is thrown into a serious situation they do not know how to handle.
Now that I have graduated, I fully intend to utilize more of my time to explore these challenges. I will look at angles from personal stories, to in-depth looks at various forms of advocacy and the agencies involved. It is time to face the elephant in the caregiving room!