Caring for the Caregiver – An Interview with The Inspiring EsquireJuly 28, 2010
1) What is a caregiver?
A family member or non-family member, paid or unpaid, full or part time who provides care to someone whose medical condition requires them to be cared for.
2) And you are a caregiver?
I became a caregiver in 1996 when my daughter was born without the ability to breathe and cerebral palsy.
Feed through tube
3) What was that like?
Emotionally difficult, Feeling of powerlessness, Fatigue, etc.
Pulled in so many directions, No time to yourself.
STORY: Joseph’s question
4) At some point did you also become in need of care?
I became a care receiver in 2003 when I was diagnosed with young/earlier onset Parkinsons.
5) What was that like?
Same Feelings as caregiver – Isn’t that Interesting? But in addition, helplessness, frustration at loss of independence, uncomfortable with how others react, regret if you had some part in your condition, “why me” if you didn’t.
6) After recieving your diagnosis, did you make any “life changes”?
In 2008, I left the top attorney position at a major corporation to teach several undergraduates classes at the University of Louisville, provide inspirational presentations, consult with companies to proactively prevent harassment and reduce injuries in the workplace, and use my law license to represent the disadvantaged.
7) How have these changes worked out?
Struggle, the product is works exceptionally well, the PD is not an issue, but, like any business, getting in front of the right people is frustratingly difficult. Maybe your listeners can help me there.
8) I understand one of your Learn Success Today enhancement principles is to “Raise Your Level of Awareness,” how has being both a caregiver and care receiver raised your awareness level?
The care receiver receives the care, as they should.
Whatever the reason, care is needed.
People empathize with the trauma and hardship endured by the care receiver.
Sometimes it is their fault (smokers, accident victims, whatever), but very often it s not (PD, birth defects, etc.)
9) What about awareness about the caregiver?
Whether due to family relation or employment, one or more individuals take on the, often thankless, role of caregiver.
Very little recognition is provided to the caregiver
10) Who is there to care for the caregiver?
Often noone. Must take care of themselves.
11) What care does the caregiver need?
Time to take care of themselves: eat right, exercise, recharge batteries, relaxation
Avoid falling into the martyr trap.
12) How can we get the caregiver what they need?
Set up a schedule and stick to it as much as possible.
Agree upon guidelines of what the care receiver is going to do for themselves.
Regularly discuss how the arrangement is working out for each of you.
Like a marriage – has to he “honest” open communication.