Welcome to Caregiver Friday!
While I was away at school I had the opportunity to discuss caregiver issues with a woman that provided services for caregivers of dementia patients. As the discussion continued I realized that the continuum of caregiver/wellness partner roles is quite diverse. The population is aging so we know that there will be an increase in the amount of illness in years to come requiring new battalions of caregivers. The care continuum cares for patients from birth to old age. The wellness partners of the 21st century are more informed about the patient’s condition, but there is still a huge gap in services and understanding of caregiver needs.
During my conversation with this service provider I realized how entrenched and stuck we can become in our points of view; that’s true for caregivers as well as providers. The important thing to consider is the fact that the continuum requires different things at different times. Having the capacity to be flexible is critical to the well-being of the caregiver. One of the key components that we have to all be mindful of is not to project our own opinions on to that of you, the caregiver. It’s easy to want to fit you, the caregiver, into a neat little box but the truth is that caregiving is messy. Although at times it’s physically messy; that’s not what I’m referring to at this time.
I’m punctuating the complex aspects of caregiving and how confusing the experience can be for you. If you feel that you’re not being served by your service providers bring it to their attention. As someone who spent years providing services to caregivers; it’s easy to fall into the role of the all knowing. The truth is that caregivers are as individual as finger prints. You require and deserve custom tailored solutions address the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of caregiving.
Don’t give in to the temptation of being a yes person. Make your needs known and understand that wherever you fall on the continuum as a caregiver is exactly where you should be!