Caregiver’s Context: The Big Picture
Sometimes the big picture helps makes sense of what we are experiencing. This is certainly true for caregivers of aging parents who feel overwhelmed and exhausted from the complexity and uncertainty of their work. The Caregiver’s Context Mind Map offers them an integrated overview of the unavoidable challenges that come with the role. It also illustrates that the responsibilities exceed the capacity of any one person.
Adult children can use the Caregiver’s Context Mind Map to answer the following questions about the most challenging aspects of their role:
1. Which of the contextual factors is currently the most challenging?
2. Why is this situation so challenging?
3. Why does it need to change?
2. What needs to happen to improve this situation?
3. What decisions and resources does the change require?
4. Who can help me find them?
5. Where do I start?
5. What’s possible in the next 30 days?
Framing a difficult aspect of the caregiving role in terms of why it’s so challenging and why it needs to change helps mobilize the brain’s creativity and resilience to find answers both from within and outside resources. It also helps adult children reset expectations as to what is possible given the scope and depth of the contextual challenges.