February 3, 2010

The Caregiving Years

When you expect a child, the community (your family, friends, co-workers) rally around you and your spouse. When you expect your first child, you receive gifts, well wishes and the encouragement that you are entering a wonderful, albeit challenging, chapter in your life. As you prepare to welcome your child, you feel pride at the thought of your role as parent: How you will shape the mind of a youngster, impacting him or her with your wisdom, insights and knowledge.

Now think about a similar life experience, just one on the other end of the spectrum. An aging relative, a spouse, a parent, a grandparent, needs your help. And, you want to help–you believe in making the most of the years you have left together. But, when you tell your friends, your colleagues, even other family members, the comments you may hear are a far cry from well-wishes. “I could never do that! Why do you?” Or, the more common response: “Why don’t you just put your mother (or your wife, or your grandfather) in a nursing home? That way you won’t be so stressed out.”
With support like that, no wonder you might find yourself fighting self-doubts during your caregiving journey, asking yourself, “Why me? Why am I the one to do this?” These self-doubts can erode your ability to handle your caregiving responsibilities effectively and efficiently. Even worse, these self-doubts cloud your ability to understand how important this caregiving journey is–to your care recipient, your family, yourself.
Which is why I’ve developed The Caregiving Years: Six Stages To A Meaningful Experience. Much like books for expecting parents, The Caregiving Years describes what to expect throughout the journey. By having information about your role as caregiver–you understand what information to gather and the actions to take–you can spend more time making this experience meaningful, for your care recipient, your family, yourself.
The Caregiving Years is separated into six stages; you’ll find a keyword, purpose and action plan for each stage. Your care recipient’s illness and diagnosis will determine how quickly or slowly you pass through the stages. While the length of time spent in each stage may differ for each caregiver, the emotions and experiences will remain constant.
~ Stage 1 – The Expectant Caregiver ~
~ Stage 2 – The Freshman Caregiver ~
~ Stage 3 – The Entrenched Caregiver ~
~ Stage 4 – The Pragmatic Caregiver ~
~ Stage 5 – The Transitioning Caregiver
~ Stage 6 – The Godspeed Caregiver ~
Enough is Enough thanks for this article www.caregiving.com.

Enough is Enough starts a Vicarious Trauma Support Group for caregivers of children or adults who have a disability, mental health problem, chronic condition or who are frail and aged. Find more information here

1 comment:

  1. Don't hesitate to care for others but don't forget that you should keep yourself in tiptop shape physically and mentally, stay positive and objective, don't forget to be a good care giver to yourself in order to be a good care giver.

    Dr FeelGood