The Caregiver’s Wait

How much time do you spend waiting?…for your loved one to finish eating or to find a lost glove?….Dementia complicates their simplest moves. Since patience is not my big virtue, I’ve developed tricks to calm myself through long waits. While Mom weeds slowly through her salad, I sometimes write haiku.

It doesn’t take long to sketch out one of these small poems. The basic form is just three lines. First line must have five syllables, second line has seven, third line has five. As caregiver activities go, this one probably exercises your mind as much as a crossword puzzle. You also get the satisfaction of creating something original. I invite other creative readers to write a haiku and share it here with our caregiving audience. Here are some caregiver moments cast in the haiku form.

Thank God for gardens.

Flower names have slipped away

Blooms still look joyful.


Worries crease my face

As your grey head grows heavy

Who, here, is the child?


Feet slow as syrup

I can’t take much more plodding

So I’ll sing — why not?


Go ahead, write a little poem and post it here. We’re all ears.

12 Responses to The Caregiver’s Wait

  1. Thank you for making life a little easier:) God bless.

    • Caregiving is a feminist issue. The pepole called on first to be caregivers are daughters, daughters-in-law & granddaughters (the last one is unbelievable to me!). We’re geared for caregiving as women, through nature & nurture, but more often than not we forget to look after ourselves while we’re in the midst of our roles. It’s a tough one, the struggle with guilt was the biggest for me & the women I work with. But we won’t be good for anything if we burnout.BestEllen BessoMidLife Coach & Author of Surviving Eldercare : Where Their Needs End & Yours Begin

  2. Love the Haiku about the “Syrup Feet”. Can sooo relate to that! 😀

  3. thank you…im a live in caregiver..working 12 hr shifts shared with a cargiver team,this is awesome……blessings! DM

    • I am currently a care giver & Love what I do. The copanmy I work for is Home Instead Senior care. We are paid hourly with No Benefits & it’s forcing me to look else where for F/T work with Benefits. I wish copanmy’s would appreciate good care givers & offer benefits. Any suggestions?

  4. This is a great post, thanks!

    • This is one of the most poignant, hepulfl articles I have read throughout my mother’s illness. She is end stages now, starting hospice care tomorrow, and I can relate to every bullet point in the article. I feel like there is another tsunami of grief headed my way as she fades away ..

      • Sorry to hear that your mother has reached this point in her struggle. Hoping that along with your “tsunami of grief”, you get an ocean of compassion from those around you who surely recognize the difficulties your mom and your family have faced. Sending a virtual hug.

        • This is an excellent acirtle on some of the options available to caregivers. Taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be a difficult task, and this acirtle provides great information on a number of available resources. Adult day care centers like Active Day can provide care, companionship, and much more for your loved one. Consider adult day care for your loved one. It provides a great alternative to traditional care, with many locations and affordable options.

  5. Great idea! I have to wait quite a bit for my patients…I know i”m getting paid for the time, but it still gets to me sometimes. Reading this really helped to put things into perspective.

    • I acknowledge what you say but do not agree. When you have seen huenddrs of caregiving situations as I have you know the many many elderly gentlemen who are taking care of their wives for years, you see the sons who are diligently caring for their parents, the husband who leaves for work after setting his wife’s care up for the day, who has to run home at lunch and at a moments notice, and you realize that in the end it is an issue that profoundly affects INDIVIDUALS of both sexes.

      • Great resources. Caring for those with Alzheimer’s can be a diiffcult task. Educating yourself about the disease, strategies to deal with a loved one who is affected by it and resources available to both you and your loved one is important.Thanks for sharing!Kevin

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