Thank you for checking out our Care-FULL Conversation Resources. The videos are to provide information to help benefit the caregiver and care receiver.
Called to Care
Having served as a personal and professional caregiver, I understand the journey of caregiving from the inside out. I know that companioning others through the ups and downs of aging and illness is challenging….to say the least. However, I also believe that caring for another is a sacred journey if we are able to balance the blessings with the burdens. From my own experience, sometimes the gifts of caregiving are not recognized until many years after the fact.
Self Care is NOT Optional
When caring for others, we must not forget to care for ourselves. In order to care well, we must be well. Many caregivers feel guilty about taking a little time off to rest, relax, and renew. However, self care is mandatory to maintain physical, emotional, and spiritual well being. Self care is not a luxury; it is a necessity.
Resistance to Assistance
Description: Jane Barton discusses the major challenge in the caregiving journey is overcoming the tendency of most people to resist the assistance of others. It is so hard to ask for and to receive help from family members, friends, and professional caregivers. We feel vulnerable, out of control, and helpless. However, resistance to assistance can actually be hazardous to our health if we refuse to seek the help required to live safely.
Prepare to Care
Description: Jane Barton will address the benefits of being proactive instead of reactive in the caregiving journey. It is not IF we will need care or be called to care, it is WHEN. So instead of living on caffeine and adrenaline during times of crisis, consider who, what, when, where, why, and how of caregiving based on your frame of reference (family situation, geographic location, available community resources, financial assets, etc.). We are not clairvoyant…..but we can develop a basic approach to care that will serve to guide us WHEN the need arises.
Planning for LIFE
Description: We’ll chat about the process of Advance Care Planning from a different perspective. Consider the question, “How do you choose to LIVE until your not?” And specific to the LGBT community, have you legally designated and documented the person or persons who will be responsible for your care? I won’t go into the various legal forms included in Advance Directives. Rather, I am going to stress the importance that if our wishes are to become our reality at the end of life, we need to have the conversations and document our wishes. This is the greatest gift we can offer those whom we love.
The Last One Standing
Description: Who will care for me when I am the last one standing? What if I outlive my family of origin, my life partner, my children, and my closest friends? How will I plan for that possibility? What resources are available? And, is this a motivation to invest myself in relationships throughout life? As relational beings, we need companions throughout the journey of life.
Who Will Care for Me?
Description: A concern noted on the report was a lack of family support throughout the caregiving journey. Often, individuals within the LGBT community are estranged from their family of origin. So, family is defined differently…..trusted friends and colleagues. Hence, we have to be more intentional about creating family and confirming that there is a commitment to care for each other.
Seeking additional information? Check out our Caregiver’s Cairn Blog.