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The Next Chapter: Thriving After Caregiving Ends

Caring for a loved one is frequently an all-consuming role. It requires a great deal of your energy, time, and focus. And after caregiving ends, for whatever reason, it can leave you feeling lost. Other common feelings to expect if you're no longer helping as a family caregiver include:

  • Grief

  • Confusion

  • Depression

  • Anger

  • Exhaustion

  • Hopelessness

  • Relief

  • And so many others

Finding Yourself After Caregiving Ends

You will want to allow yourself some transitional time to rediscover what it is like to live a life that doesn't include making someone else's needs a priority. Take time for reflection on your caregiving experience. What did you learn? How did it change you?

It’s also common to feel some degree of guilt once your caregiving role ends. You might feel as though there were things you should have done differently or might have done better. The “what ifs” are quite common, and it can be easy to get caught up in feelings of regret. It is important to forgive yourself and alter your internal dialogue to focus on the many positive ways you impacted your family member while providing care. Accept any mistakes, real or perceived, by understanding that you are human and that you did your very best. Extend the same grace to yourself that you would extend to someone else.

After you’ve processed the complex emotions surrounding this transitional time, think through the following:

  • How do you want to structure your days now that you have extra time available?

  • Are there volunteer opportunities that interest you?

  • What activities, hobbies, and passions do you want to pursue?

  • What relationships have had to take a back seat while you were providing care? What steps can you take to rebuild them?

It is best to establish small goals that are easily reached, rather than biting off more than you might be able to chew. For example, you may decide to reach out to one trusted friend and see if they’d like to meet for a weekly coffee or lunch date. Take plenty of time for self-care to nurture both your body and mind, and gradually add on more activities as you feel prepared to take them on.

Talk to The Care Company

If you learn that you miss providing care for others, we would love to speak to you about an opportunity to use your compassion and skills to brighten life for another person in need. Your experience as a family caregiver makes you a good fit for a professional caregiving role, and we will equip you with full training and all the support you need to make a difference in someone else’s life.

Contact us online or reach out to us at (416) 422-2273 for more information.

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