Last week, I discussed the similarities between surfing and caregiving. This week, let’s take a look at the traits that I have found to be similar in both surfers and caregivers. To be a surfer or a caregiver, you need to have the following characteristics:

Surfers have to be willing to wait for the best waves so they can experience the beautiful moments in surfing. Caregivers also need to slow down to enjoy the remaining time they have with their loved one to create beautiful memories together.

Surfing and caregiving both take us out of our comfort zones. The challenges are not for the faint of heart, but with time and proper preparation, the fear of the unknown can be significantly reduced.

Surfers frequently fail and get tossed off their boards as they spend their time amongst the waves. There is no quick-fix to learn how to ride the best waves. Caregiving also has its periods of trial and error before finding a better wave to ride. The ability to fail and learn from that failure is critical to future success.

Surfers spend many early mornings in the water waiting for just the right conditions. When surfers find a good wave, they have to paddle with intention as they drop-in. It can be both mentally and physically exhausting to catch the wave and hold on for the ride. As we ride the wave of caregiving, we also need to put in the time to find the right balance of taking care of a loved one and taking care of ourselves. Caregiving is both mentally and physically exhausting as we commit to learning the best ways for taking care of a family member.

No wave is the same in the world of surfing, just as no day is the same in the world of a caregiving Caregivers of loved one with dementia may experience some of the toughest challenges. You can’t make a schedule for a person with dementia, and you never know what kind of day they will have or if they will even have moments of clarity. Taking the path of least resistance, understanding that you can’t change their thinking, and remaining calm are useful strategies to use in dementia caregiving.

We often have to quickly learn when we jump into the role of a caregiver. The task can become overwhelming as we face the everyday demands of raising a family, working full-time, and taking care of a family member. Severino Health Advisors offers comprehensive care management to help caregivers and their loved ones face the challenges of a new or existing health-related condition. Call today to see how we can help.