Strengthen your caregiver bond by asking, does it really matter?


This one is a funny one, at least on the surface.

October 19th marks Evaluate your Life Day. 

You could look at it as just another random day of observance, or as a chance to reflect and connect with your loved ones and your caregiver. 

Fall can be the perfect time for looking inward as the seasons change and transition from investing energy outward to turning our energy inward. 

So sit down with your caregiver, a family member or close friend, and rewind the tape machine of your life. 


Things to evaluate 


There’s a lot to ponder about, regardless of your age. 

For those of us who are more self-aware and contemplative (such as you fellow Scorpios out there), this might not be such a hard task. 

For others who choose to focus on the future or don’t like to reminisce, this might be asking a lot. In that case, start with the more straightforward aspects of your life.

Sitting down with your caregiver or the senior in your life can be a great way to spark conversation and find out things you didn’t know about each other. 

Here are some areas of your life that you may want to assess on this day: 

  • How much money you spend

  • How much you work (if you still work)

  • The amount of stuff in your home 

  • Your approach to your health 

  • How your relationships are faring 

It may seem silly to sit down and ask yourself these questions, but it’s worth a try. You could even take out a pen and paper, which always helps me to process things that have been bothering me or that I’ve bottled up for too long. 

I do a lot of meditating. Okay, not a lot, but I do consistently sit down for 10-15 minutes every day to watch my thoughts and focus on my breath. 

And the message I get from my virtual meditation teacher (via an app) is to simplify life. 

Us humans can make life so complicated. We fill our days and our schedules, we come to conclusions about people that aren’t true, or we think we need more and more stuff. 

Being present and listening to our intuition can tell us a lot about what we do and don’t need in life. 


Does it really matter? 



It’s easy to get overwhelmed with our modern lives. 

So many things demand our attention in a day, from tv ads to our dinging cell phones to a stack of obnoxious and unnecessary mail. 

If you’re a family caregiver, you might be caring for a family member or friend on top of your work duties, and for some, along with raising a family. 

Every so often, it can be helpful to ask what really matters in life. 

  • What’s most important to you? What could you do without, whether that’s clothes, a certain unhelpful relationship or other material possessions. 

Clearing out the cobwebs can free up not only physical, but mental and emotional space in your life. This past blog uncovers why. 

  • Will buying a bigger TV really make your life better? Do you really need to work overtime? 

Of course, some questions are more complicated. You need to make ends meet and you want to keep your job. There are certain expectations you have to meet. Sometimes life is just hard and demanding, and that’s the way it is at the moment. 

One mantra I subscribe to that helps with simplifying life is experiences over things. 

Buying stuff might give you a boost of dopamine, but prioritizing experiences can help to live in the present moment and feel gratitude for the people that surround you. And you’ll always have the memories and the photos to look back on. 

Wondering how you can exercise your gratitude muscles? Check out our past blog on how caregivers can practice gratitude. 


What’s within your power to change? 


As an overwhelmed caregiver or senior looking for more independence, it may feel like life is just happening, barreling ahead at full speed, and you're just a passenger on board. 

I didn’t mean for that metaphor to sound so dramatic! 

But we all have a lot more agency in life than we think. 

How do I know this? From mindset work. This may sound too ‘woo woo’ for some, but visualization and positive affirmations can make a major difference in how content and even excited we feel about our lives. 



A more straightforward way to think of this involves fixed versus growth mindset

People with fixed mindsets see talent and intelligence as fixed, and people with growth mindset think these things can be improved over time. 

But more than that, I think mindset can apply to more than intelligence and talent. 

For instance, with your caregiver/senior relationship, you could think it’s stagnant and won’t get any better or worse. 

If you believe that, then you’re probably not making the effort to improve your relationship. You may ask each other the same questions day after day, and not take the extra energy to get to know each other better, or see through each other’s very human flaws. 

If you want to improve this relationship, you could visualize having a great conversation with the caregiver in your life, and manifest that through positive thinking. 

For example, “I have great conversations with my family caregiver because they care about my mother, and we’re all here to make my mother’s life better.” 

You may be surprised with how quickly your perspective shifts from feeling helpless to feeling empowered. Our more recent blog covers how positive thinking can affect the process of aging. 


The bonds between caregivers and seniors 


We talk about this a lot at SeaCare, but the relationship between a senior and a caregiver can be one of the most important in a senior’s life. 

To relate this back to Evaluate Your Life Day, you can ask yourself how your loved one is faring, and what’s your role in their wellbeing? 

Maybe it’s time for you to retire, and you can think of no better person to take care of your parent than yourself. 

If your loved one can fare fairly well on their own but could need some companionship and help staying on top of bills, then maybe it’s time to hire a caregiver. 

If you’re the main caregiver and you feel frazzled and stretched thin every day, then maybe it’s time to hire a caregiver, if only for a handful of hours a week. 

If any one of these is true, check out our resources page to find the answers you might be looking for.


Megan Marolf writes about senior topics and outdoor recreation from her home base in Seattle. You can read more about her here







If you or a loved one you know are looking for additional support during this time and are interested in scheduling a free in-home assessment, please contact SeaCare In-Home Care Services today! A SeaCare family member is standing by. 425-559-4339.