For me, caregiving began with an elderly neighbor who needed some
assistance. This "assistance" turned into a five-year stint of elder
care, closely followed by the ever increasing needs of six of my own
family members. For all but one of my elders – my dad whose failed brain
surgery sent him into severe dementia – care needs gradually increased.
I can clearly remember the day when I finally woke up to the fact
that I had a full-time job as a caregiver, even though, technically, I
wasn't "working" at the time. Had I had more family caregivers to
communicate with, I may have realized earlier how much my caregiver role had slowly overtaken my life.