North Carolina Social Security Disability Caregiver Challenge #4: Your Own Life is Falling to Pieces: What do you do?

August 3, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

The last in this four-part series on the challenges facing caregivers for North Carolina Social Security Disability beneficiaries addresses a relatively universal phenomenon. We have talked about how caregivers ignore their own mental and emotional needs when caring for the sick. And we’ve discussed various ways to manage problems like anger, uncertainty, and loneliness.

But the challenges are not all mental or emotional. There are logistical frustrations as well.

In particular, when you take “time out of your life” to care for a North Carolina Social Security Disability recipient, you are not simply taking time away from hobbies or idle time in front of the TV. You are taking time and resources away from key activities like paying the bills, spending time with your spouse or friends or family, your job, and so forth.

Many caregivers do not have the luxury to sacrifice these essentials. But they do anyway because they know how much the SSD recipient depends on them. Is there a way to meet everyone’s needs? Can you be an active, compassionate, present caregiver – often more than a full-time job – while simultaneously attending to the rest of your life? What should you do if you have fallen behind on your bills, gotten in trouble at your job, or suffered health consequences of your own?

Again, there are no easy or clear answers. The answer is always dependent on the situation. But caregivers can make some progress simply by noting what they need to get done and when they need to get it done. In other words, being organized in of itself will release some of the strain. What activities are essential and should not be delayed except under the most direst emergency (e.g. going to work, paying your bills) and what activities or goals can be put off, delayed, or eliminated altogether (e.g. TV watching, vacation plans, etc.)?

Avoid giving yourself too much to do. Focus on what really matters.

As human beings, our basic needs are pretty simple. We need food, shelter, health, good companionship, rest, exercise, and few other key components. Go through your life and figure out how you can meet all of your fundamental needs.

That’s the key: thinking.

Brainstorm creative ways to meet your needs without sacrificing your caregiver duties. You might be surprised. Once you have a very clear idea about what needs to be done, you might be surprised at how many different, creative, “shortcut” ways you can find to deal with your life and solve your problems.

Of course, you don’t have to do this all on your own. A qualified, high-caliber North Carolina Social Security Disability law firm can help you not only with the legal issues facing SSD and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries, but a good law firm will also connect you with tools and resources to help in the other parts of your life as well.

More Web Resources:

Caregiver overwhelm

the genius of K.I.S.S.