A stranger asks, “What do you do?”. They really mean, ‘do you WORK?’. When you reply that you care for a loved one, they look past your shoulder, scanning the room for an escape route. At the grocery store, someone you used to know walks by…Continue reading
I am a caregiver who has never had a ‘proper’ job since Nicholas was born twenty-five years ago. I have certain sensitivities and sometimes, I take a chilly greeting personally. During the years when Nicholas was constantly in hospital and often in crisis, I would say this to the doctors: “I really need you to be nice to me. I mean it.” I did not know any other way to express the fact that a small slight, a critical gaze, or an unkind word could shatter what bit of resilience I had left to get through the day.
Eva Kittay recognises this chink in the armor of caregivers because she is one herself (when she is not teaching moral philosophy at SUNY Stony Brook). Eva describes the phenomenon of the ‘transparent self’ of the caregiver – “a self through whom the needs of another are discerned, a self that, when it looks to gauge its own needs, sees first the needs of another”. Kittay argues that the moral requirements of a dependency relationship make the transparent self indispensable. This labor of love is simultaneously responsive to the needs of others, exhibiting care – it cultivates intimacies and trust between humans. Both care and concern contribute to the sustainability and connectedness fundamental in dependency relationships, but it leaves the caregiver vulnerable. Prolonged transparency of the self can lead to clinical depression at the worst and the absence of empowerment to act on one’s own behalf at the least.
My clumsy response to being too transparent for too long was to beg those around to ‘be nice to me’.
Looking a caregiver straight in the eye with real interest (not sympathy) is tonic to the caregiver soul. Asking her (or his) opinion about a shared experience, even if it’s what she thinks about the color of the sky – demonstrates a respect for that part of the person which is not a caregiver.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Elizz. All opinions are 100% mine.The natural, loving care that family members provide to one another is the engine of society. The care we give to those we love makes all other work possib…Continue reading
Guest post by Maria RamosWhile generally a time of cheer and celebration, the holidays pose their own set of challenges for seniors and those living with disabilities. The holidays are a time for family and friends, and generally everybody wants to get…Continue reading
I was surprised to see this question as the title of an email I received this morning. “Sick of Caregiving?” isn’t the sort of thing I usually receive. My inbox is normally filled with things like “Latest stats on why caregivers live longer” or “…Continue reading
This is a really informative and helpful guest post by the writers at TopTenReviews that I’m more than happy to share. Choosing how to support your parents in their golden years doesn’t have to be a burden. Depending on what you and your parents are looking for in care, you have aContinue reading
This December 23rd, I am wistful about time passing. Tomorrow is my Mom’s 93rd birthday. It seems like yesterday we celebrated her 90th – time is passing so quickly now that I am older. We met our daughter at the airport last evening and when she walked out of theContinue reading
This is the second in our National Caregiving Month series of blog posts from YOU, our readers and fellow caregivers! Judy Fox and Andrea Hurley are the co-authors of one of my favourite eldercare blogs, “When The Table Turns“. Thank you for telling your story here at the Caregivers’ LivingContinue reading
Today, a Forbes blog post caught my eye. Maybe it was the title: “Informal Caregiving? Free Caregiving? Seriously?” … or maybe it was because I always enjoy reading what Howard Gleckman writes. He’s the author of a wonderful book called “Caring For Our Parents” and he’s a fellow at the UrbanContinue reading
Recently, I wrote about the wisdom and knowledge of caregivers. Families giving care sometimes feel that they are operating in a vacuum – that the only compassionate place is the home because societies in which we live are driven by an ethic of individualism, consumerism and the perpetual growth ofContinue reading
How humans live: Baby is born (healthy and able-bodied…. or not) and is totally dependent for one year. If able-bodied, the baby develops and with nurturing, enters school. Child may have an allergy, asthma, ADHD or a broken leg from learning to ski. In secondary school, child may require treatment forContinue reading