In December 2013, caregiver Berenice chose a CAREGIFTED getaway in Victoria, BC (AKA Canada’s Garden City), for a leisurely week to relax and explore.
Here are a few images and words -- sharing a bit of her experience as a caregiver to her husband Herb and on her trip to Victoria.
CAREGIFTED is honored to host all its caregivers, and thanks those family-members at home, as well, who manage a week without them, and make these breaks possible!
What’s the hardest part about caregiving that nobody sees?
The life-and-death situations are the hardest part. [Since the actual stroke years ago] we’ve been through a number of medical crises in recent years that came out of left field, unrelated to the stroke or heart issues. Fear of falling is always with us when he walks with his left-sided pyramid walker [even] under close supervision -- because the next fall could potentially be the one that puts him in a nursing home.
Would you describe your special interests or talents outside of caregiving?
My special interests have taken on new dimension since Herb’s stroke in 2001 when I became a full-time caregiver.
I’ve written two books about stroke, I write for the National Stroke Association and have developed two webinars for them about care-giving issues, and [as] a playwright, struggling now with limited time and attempting to gain attention for a play that I’ve been working on for six years.
[In what time I have] I also enjoy attending classes offered by local colleges… my favorite continuing program involves quantum physics and cosmology. Although I have only a limited science/physics background, the mental stretching helps me remain sharp in my senior years.
Describe a moment during your getaway when you felt the most relaxed or at ease.
On the first morning I awoke at 4 AM. After turning on CNN to see what had happened overnight in the world, I shut off the TV and bed lamp and went back to sleep for several hours. I was relaxed enough to give myself permission to sleep, read, and luxuriate in the peace and quiet of a comfortable hotel room. And since I elected to have a concierge, I could indulge in what I miss most, enjoyable, free-floating, and intellectual conversation…
In three words, describe how you felt when you returned from your getaway.
Relaxed, rejuvenated, refreshed are the three words to describe how I felt on my return-- coming home, dropping my suitcase, and kissing my husband hello.
What thoughts or information would you share with other caregivers who are going on their own getaway?
CAREGIFTED makes this getaway as easy or as challenging as you prefer. My advice is to enjoy the pampering, take time to luxuriate, catch up on your sleep, and then fit the schedule to what you feel like doing.
You have the freedom, both in terms of time and paid expenses, to take advantage of as much or as little of the surroundings as you please.