When a loved one is ill, the focus is on them. Whether it be an acute illness or chronic we focus the attention on their needs. Everyone can try to imagine what it’s like to be in those shoes, but that isn’t something that can be done.
At the same time, consider the caregivers; the parents, siblings, spouses and other relatives whose lives are impacted. Nursing is a profession of caregiving, but it isn’t the same as being the one on the front lines. There are emotions, fears, hopes, dreams and so many other thought processes that are occurring.
A brief illness is one thing but a chronic illness is another. The hopes and dreams for an entire lifetime can be slashed in the blink of an eye. How often do caregivers say “it’s never about me?” How often do we assume that they are fine and don’t need support? We can’t walk in the shoes of a husband who has a sick wife. We can’t walk in the shoes of a parent who has a child that has cancer or is paralyzed. While we can imagine what it’s like, until we’ve been there, we can never assume or judge.
Maybe it’s time that there was a #NeverAboutMe movement that started for caregivers. I would think it would catch on quickly. How many of you are in similar situations? This isn’t something negative, it is giving recognition to the ones that are forgotten sometimes.
The most common tasks for a caregiver are:
Home Management and Care Planning
Prescription Medication Management
Assistance with Personal Hygiene and Care
Assisting with Meals and Nutrition
Helping with Mobility
Home maintenance and housekeeping
Keeping them company
These are just a few of the things that you, as a caregiver are taking on. Many times you do it and don’t even realize it. Sometimes it is second nature. You always put your loved one first, hence “it’s never about me.”
“Caregiving often calls us to lean into love we didn’t know possible.” –Tia Walker, The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love