Thursday, August 19, 2010
choosing to care
It begins subtlety, no better yet, invisibly. You begin to give care. You CHOOSE to care.
The person dealing with diagnosis or progression of chronic illness or disability did not CHOOSE to be so and is understandably ferocious in their independence.
Veteran long term caregivers look back on this as a beginning or a stage of caregiving. But to many this stage holds, it is what they do.
Find a way to extend a helping hand without trumpeting your effort. For example, if you don’t normally do the cooking “develop” an interest do not “offer to cook”.
Worlds change. Soon you are excusing yourself from social activities to be around the home, just in case. Of course, you never phrase it that way.
What you are doing is not really fooling anyone, it is all about how you approach it. In a sense, chivalry not chauvinism.
Progression is the proverbial elephant in the room for both of you. I pray the elephant just sits there. Unfortunately most likely it will grow. The care person needs to be thinking and exploring ‘what if’ and under no circumstances think out loud.
No one wants to be dependent anymore than they want to be chronically ill or disabled. This can get like emotional bumper cars in this stage. You have to try to understand that your choices whether calculated or in the heat of the moment are no different in the 21st century than Pythagoras philosophized in the 6th Century B.C, “choices are the hinges of destiny”.
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
web site: http://caregivinglyyours.com/
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