HONOLULU (KHON2) — “Don’t sweat the small things, let it go. You can’t take your parents’ path or your loved one’s path, they have to do it that themselves,” says Maile Young, Hawaii Island Adult Care volunteer.

Maile Young cared for her mom for 10 years and is now caring for her husband who is confined to a wheelchair with a leg injury.

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“I thought I knew everything about caregiving. But taking care of my husband is a very different job. The challenges are very emotional. You have to try and separate from being the caregiver and being the wife,” says Young.

Young spent 22 years as the Health Services and Alzheimer’s Director at Hawaii Island Adult Care.

“I love my job. I think that’s why I keep going back when they ask me. I don’t how to practice that exercise that I taught everyone to just hold their face and say no. I can’t do anymore,” says Young.

Young is now back at HIAC as a volunteer and is leading their caregiver support group which meets every third Thursday of the month.

“They learn from each other, we laugh together. There’s a lot of laughter. You may go there shy and start off not contributing but maybe the next visit you’ll start to understand that you’re not alone. They leave with a good feeling because they found out it’s not as bad as the one you just learned about,” says Young.

The sessions are therapeutic for Young who is also dealing with the same issues that many caregivers experience.

“Taking care of yourself is the most important thing. It’s so important to not stop going out with the girls for lunch, not going to the beach with your grandchildren. All the things you did together as a couple, you can do by yourself. Start finding outlets and resources of information today that will be helpful to you like community services They are out there in the different stages that you’re at,” advises Young.

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