“Thoroughly unprepared, we take the step into the afternoon of life.
Worse still, we take this step with the false presupposition
that our truths and our ideals will serve us as hitherto.
But we cannot live the afternoon of life
according to the program of life’s morning,
for what was great in the morning will be little at evening
and what in the morning was true, at evening will have become a lie.”
Carl G. Jung
Jungian Psychology looks to the second half of life as a time of searching for personal meaning. Believing in continuous development across the lifespan and maintaining that individuation is a spiritual path toward wholeness, Carl Jung proposed Seven Tasks of Aging (see below).
As we become older a role reversal takes place and we find ourselves in the position of caring for our parents or loved ones. For some, this is a gradual process and for others it is thrust upon us quite suddenly. Regardless, it is a life transition we will eventually all face and it can be an emotional roller coaster. You are not alone on the caregiver journey and there are many community resources available.
Caregiving for a parent catapults you back into the undercurrents of your family of origin and can often bring up feelings of resentment, guilt, or grief. Dealing with overwhelming emotions can cloud your judgment and place strain on your current relationships. Sometimes this leads to anxiety and depression. It is important to take care of yourself so that you can be available for your loved ones. Asking for help does not come easily for some; however, now is a time in your life when it could be very affirming for you. Sometimes it can be very constructive to seek neutral and confidential support outside of your circle of family and friends. I have education, training and experience in aging and long-term care that can be extremely supportive in helping you to assess needs, clarify concerns and navigate family dynamics.
Santa Clara County/Sourcewise Community Resource Solutions: (408) 350-3200
(Extensive database of community resources, including caregiver support, care management, legal, etc.)
Eldercare Locator: (800) 677-1116
(to locate an Area Agency on Aging anywhere in the USA, very useful for long distance caregiving)
Family Caregiver Alliance / National Center on Caregiving: (800) 445-8106
(Seeks to improve the quality of life for caregivers through education, services, research and advocacy)
San Mateo County Office on Aging and Adult Services: 1-800-675-TIES (8437)
Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of Our Elders
by Mary Pipher, PhD (1999).
Necessary Losses: The Loves, Illusions, Dependencies and Impossible Expectations That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Grow
by Judith Viorst (1998).
The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers: Looking after Yourself and Your Family while Helping an Aging Parent
by Barry Jacobs (2006).
How to Care for Aging Parents: A One-Stop Guide for All Your Medical, Financial, Housing and Emotional Issues
by Virginia Morris (2014)