Like life, caregiving is a roller coaster.

Imagine how you feel on a roller coaster. You start of slowly and climb a steep incline until you reach the top and then quickly descend, screaming until you reach the bottom, and then you begin to climb slowly once again.

Repeating this pattern occurs in relationships, school, on the job and in caregiving.

Case in point:

When you begin to care for your loved one, you both adjust slowly to a new routine– until a crisis occurs and you feel yourself descending rapidly, “screaming” until the crisis abates. Then you slowly creep back up to a normal pattern once again.

Homeostasis is the scientific term for the ability to maintain a constant internal environment in response to environmental changes and it is a unifying principle of biology.

Each of you can recall some events that mirror a roller coaster in your life. From now on, when you are experiencing a crisis, remind yourself that things will resolve and mimic the pattern of homeostasis. It might not always look like we want it to but, no matter what, there will be a change, and you will return to a feeling of stability and a constant internal environment.

Remember, nothing is constant but change.


About Wendy Marcus

Wendy has 26 years of experience working in the behavioral and medical health field. Her expertise and familiarity with the caregiver community hit close to home serving as a former caregiver herself. Ms. Marcus has worked in both inpatient hospital and outpatient settings, working with patients and families. Her focus throughout her career has varied, spanned nursing homes, care and disability management. Her expertise lies in chronic health problems,including both physical and behavioral health conditions.

Ms. Marcus holds a strong belief that it’s “not what the disease or condition has done to you, but rather what you bring to the problem—attitude is key.” Her thoughtful listening and guidance is a cornerstone to the quality support she provides. For the caregiver who’s knee-deep and overwhelmed, trying to “keep it together” or go-it-alone, here’s a place to find solace.