Posted in after the diagnosis, care for the caregiver, Caregiving, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness

Bicycle Built for Two:Celebrating Caregivers

It has been a while since I wrote a post focused on caregivers but I had to address the amazing souls walking this earth; the caregiver. Caregivers have been called co-patients because when an individual is diagnosed with an illness they too face many of the same issues as the person with the disease. Those in relationships with the patient experience the same life interruption and on some level there is a death that occurs for them on the emotional and spiritual levels.

Thanks for Facebook I saw this commercial about a couple that warmed my heart, renewed my faith in love and relationships, and showed how caregivers are plugged in on the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the person they’re caring for. The commercial shows the relationship between a husband and wife and the wife has Alzheimer’s disease. The love and compassion this man shows is amazing and serves as the gold standard for love and compassion. It also punctuates the level of devotion he has toward making the end of his wife’s life as enjoyable as possible by plugging in to the things that gave her joy during earlier parts of her life.

Aside from the stress and strain of being a caregiver, I learned from this commercial the importance of paying attention each and every day that I’m with the one I love. We never know when we will have to rely on that information to make the life of the one we love more comfortable and peaceful. The knowledge caregivers acquire over time are not only an archive of their relationship but an exhibition of love, understanding, and matching one’s words and thoughts to one’s actions.

Please watch this video and think about someone in your life (doesn’t have to be a spouse) and a special moment, activity, food, or some other defining experience that may bring him or her joy in his or her time of need. You’d be surprised how the little things have a huge impact!

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Posted in Caregiving


Welcome to Caregiver Friday!!

You may be wondering why the title of this post is written as it is so let me explain.  I’ve decided to take the next 9 Fridays, taking each letter and writing about an aspect of caregiving that corresponds to that letter.  So as they say in the song from the Sound of Music, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.”

“C” is for Courage

When I speak of courage in caregiving I’m not thinking of the courage exhibited by our soldiers as they go off to war, putting their lives on the line.  I’m talking about the courage of conviction and the courage of consciousness.

The courage of consciousness means your ability to recognize the importance of caregiving.  It’s the courage to be aware of the vulnerability of the person you’re caring for due to illness or injury.  It’s your level of character that draws you toward the intricacies of caregiving.  It’s courage on the emotional and spiritual levels.  Courage is a big issue, just think of the Lion in the Wizard of Oz.  It entails much more than simply running into burning buildings; it is a different type of challenge zone when caring for someone sick or injured.

The courage is that of commitment.  It’s easy to say you’re going to be a caregiver either out of duty or love and another to actually follow-through and act on those convictions.  It’s the capacity and the courage to commit the process; for many quite a long haul and without knowing at the beginning how it will end.  It’s a commitment to the person and the courage to maintain the relationship through what will often be difficult or challenging times.

It boils down to this…Caregiving is courage of the heart and soul.  The word for courage comes from the French word “coeur” meaning heart.  That’s where courage resides and I thank you for having the courage to serve as a caregiver in the life of someone who is currently challenged by illness or injury.