Friday, September 28, 2007

Caregiving: Why? Questions of a 56 yr old going on 3

Some days I feel like a three year old endlessly asking ‘why this?’, ‘why that?’.


Why should ‘care’ be defined based on convenience? I bring Patti home or on outings on average of 4.5 evenings per week. Recently, I was asked, “Why? That’s not what most people do.”


Why is it usually ‘spouse’ caregiver? What happened to blood is thicker than water? What about siblings or children … the only “non-blood’ relation is the spouse.


Why do family and friends drift away leaving a challenged person increasingly isolated? … “Well, everyone has their own life to live.” When did family and friends become fragmented concepts instead of bonds?


Why is medical science racing to prolong life with no apparent thought to quality of life? Or even independent life?


Why do we debate about how we ‘define’ a disability or ‘report’ a disability, rather than how can we better ‘care’? … Over 40% of people age 65 and older reported disabilities in 2000 Census. In 2002, the Census Bureau reported 11% of children ages 6 -14 had a physical or cognitive disability. … To caregivers, ‘they’ are not statistics but are names, faces, and heart strings.


Where do people with challenges go? 20% of the overall population is challenged with a disability. Look around yourself when you are out, do you SEE people that reflect anything close to these numbers? To caregivers “where do they go?” is not only poignant but sometimes scary.


Confronted for years with a failing health care system, has this baby boomer generation become proverbial lemmings? Are too many simply looking out for themselves while crushing on toward collective and catastrophic consequences?


Who knows? Though 56 going on 3, I know that sometimes there just are not any good answers to “Why?”, well, … except maybe in dreamers:

“Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head,

Pretending he just doesn't see?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,

The answer is blowin' in the wind.”

Bob Dylan “Blowin’ In the Wind” (1963)


Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer


  1. I love that song by Bob Dylan. As to the question of Why? I've been asking myself Why and had that question come up repeatedly with my deafness. In the end perhaps there are no answers that will satisfy everyone as to the Why. Trying to answer the Why's ends up pulling me down under. These days I just accept my fate and live my life to the fullest despite that loss. Your doing the same for Patty. My own daughter refuses to accept my deafness and acts as if it's more of a burden on her than it can ever be on me. That's ok, some people can't, don't, won't ever understand life on the other side of the fence. I think for people to accept the 20% disability among them is reaching high. These same people would prefer to ignore the numbers as well as the people. It only makes them more away of their own vulnerablitity. Me? It's never about the outer shell, rather the spirit that flows from within each and every human being. (Hugs) Indigo

  2.   And another I heard is so many baby boomer decided not to marry and focus on career.  Now as they become older and sick they have no family to care for them and more and more they get lost in the cracks.  We are not prepared for taking care of our disabled and elderly now much less in the future as it grows larger.


  3. (((((((((((((((HUGSTOYOU))))))))))))))))Very intresting,I ask myself the same thing,why?I love that song.Have a nice weekend.

  4. "why" in almost any situation is difficult to answer.... but if it makes you feel any better, I do understand the questions..... I bet I know the answer to the question you were asked, Patrick.  

    Have a good weekend!

  5. .......remember the good ole days when there were maiden aunts to help care for people?

  6. Great entry, Patrick!

  7. Indeed why! Patrick and a wonderful entry.  Although in age related illnesses most sibblings rise to the occassion. So I wonder if the 'why' is because you care enough to follow that road:) Rache

  8. Patrick, these are serious questions for us to ponder. My response is lengthy, so I'm emailing you instead. bea


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