Caregivers have unique needs which must be considered to help the caregiver not just survive, but THRIVE in this demanding role.
Many of you do not even recognize that you are the “caregiver” and what that role requires. Compassion fatigue is as debilitating to you, the caregiver, as the direct responsibilities for medical, financial and daily care of your ill or frail care-receiver. Medical arenas and drugs are keeping the patients alive longer. Protecting the caregiver’s own well being, mentally and physically, is an incredibly important step in the caring process.
Most repeated “What I learned” comment in the mid-year evaluation during The Caregiver Advantage (TCA) trainings:
TO KNOW THAT I AM NOT ALONE.
We cannot survive in a vacuum. We must be part of a community. We grow all our lives, if given the necessary stimulation, affirmation and acceptance. We can support each other with the skills essential in taking responsibility for our own well-being as we care for another.
Sadly, this is the truth for too many caregivers:
“We were so naive. We thought that when the time came to step up for Mom, our family would be there. Never did we imagine we would be the bad guys, accused of not understanding that they have lives too…they have no concept of what we deal with on a daily basis”. Cheryl
I, too, have been in that place where NO ONE wants to hear what my day is really like as a caregiver. Here’s a chance to see that we are not alone. Our thoughts and attitudes create our feelings and shape our bodies and our lives. Together we can develop a mindfulness regarding our fears or periods of low energy. Together we can explore what it means to learn to:
“speak up for me to the doctors about what the real actions and behaviors of my husband are at home and that this is part of MY being safe, able to sleep at night, remain healthy and able to keep going as his caregiver”. Bev, TCA participant
Each of you, as the guardian of another’s well-being, acts with a warrior’s commitment to the truth of being genuinely helpful each day. Often our support system is NOT the family of youth.
Our TCA BLOG is like sitting with a good friend who knows exactly what you are really going through. Let’s share our humor, truths and hurts, finding the permission to break the silence of how hard this job as caregiver can be.
Bring your ideas, questions, concerns and the stories of what does work for you to help us each be the best we can be as we provide care.