What about spouse caregiver support?
Certainly a popular question … my mind’s knee jerk answer is always “who has the time?”
Oh I know the psychobabble experts claim we must take care of ourselves, and I even tell other spouse caregivers they must take care of themselves first before they can take care of anyone. A classic case of ‘Do as I say, not as I do’. <grin>
Personally I have only attended ONE spouse caregiver group and that was a thousand years ago. I cannot remember if it was one sponsored by the then fledgling Well Spouse Association or the local chapter of NMSS.
I sat there kind of dumbfounded and out of sync. Patti’s MS had hit so hard and progressed so fast I had zipped right pass other caregivers in attendance.
In my series of entries entitled Metaphysics of Caregiving I share about trying my own way over the last 18 and half years, a more Stoic path of indifference to my own existence to achieve balance.
Now, in this 21st Century, “Googling” ‘spouse caregiver support’ yields the Well Spouse Association.
Celebrating their 20th Anniversary, interestingly they evolved from Maggie Strong’s 1988 book “Mainstay: For the Well Spouses of the Chronically Ill”. Discovering this same book on our local library shelf became a benchmark of my earliest years as a spouse caregiver. Eventually I would even use a quote from “Mainstay” in my original journal entry to “Caregivingly Yours,” four years ago.
Their website is certainly worth a tour. For your convenience simply click the picture below.
“WSA is the only national organization which focuses exclusivelyon long-term spousal caregivers whose spouse/partner may have any chronic illness and/or disability.”
Finding a ‘how to’ guide for caregiving in a group of caregivers is more elusive than finding the answer to ‘life, the universe, and everything’. (Except that thanks to Douglas Adams we know that answer is ‘42’. <grin>)
While answers may always elude us, trying is certainly what caregiving is about.
“The companionship, empathy, and shared information between one well spouse and another is unique.”
AMEN, to that!
Caregivingly Yours, J Patrick Leer
(also available in Blogger edition, Caregiver Blog: "Caregivingly Yours")