I have been thinking about sacrifice for a great number of years. The meaning I’m referring to is “to give up something usually for a better cause”. As a caregiver, I sacrificed a lot of things in my 19 years: autonomy, independence, companionship, sexuality, and financial security. Being in a very loving marriage, I had to help my husband through his disease. He had no choice, and I woudn’t even consider the other major choice which was to leave him! Some people do.
Taking care of yourself as a dementia caregiver is something most caregivers overlook. Very few of us choose to be a dementia caregiver as a career in our personal life. We end up there because someone close to us, usually a family member, is sick and needs our help. Most of us don’t have the money to hire round-the-clock caregivers to perform that task, so we take it upon ourselves out of love, or out of necessity, or both. Sometimes it just “falls in our lap” because we are the family’s logical choice or there is no one geographically closer. We are “tapped on the shoulder” and … “You’re It!”