The Heart of a Caregiver
There are only four kinds of people in the world - those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.-- Rosalynn Carter
Wellness is about so much more than just the state of our physical health. The word has been tossed around so much it has almost lost its meaning. I believe the wellness concept is a holistic one: encompassing the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual parts of us. So, in order to bring ourselves into the highest state of balance in all these areas requires some thinking and acting "outside the box".
Caregivers come in all different and unique packages; some are thrust into the caregiver role unwillingly, others embrace it wholeheartedly. We are carers for different conditions, ages, relationships, yet we all share a common bond in being one who cares for another. In that, we can relate to others in this same life journey and by sharing our thoughts and experiences, we can make the path easier for each other.
One thing most caregiving bears in common is that it takes time and energy, in differing amounts, perhaps, but still relevant. One must learn to keep the demands in balance with all other life activities. Obviously, it can get very hard to do that.
Another commonality is that most caregivers are truly "givers" -- they give love, support, kindness, patience (on a good day!), transportation, food, time, and basically whatever is needed by the one for whom they are caring. That's where this website can help! There is an abundance of practical information linked here, but the heart of a caregiver is what I am most interested in exploring and protecting. I found, in my 17 years of caring for my mother, that I almost disappeared in the midst of fulfilling her needs. It was a gradual disappearing act, but nonetheless, pretty dramatic. I want to attempt to share the benefit of some tools that I either learned the hard way, in life's school of hard knocks, or realized after the fact, when I actually had time to ponder such things. I wish that someone had thrown me a lifeline and smacked me over the head with it until I paid attention to the fact that I was drowning.
So, if you are going down for the third time, gasping for air, grab hold of the lifeline this website is throwing, come aboard and start finding your own way to true wellness and balance. The tools are all available here. No drowning necessary!
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Karen is a compassionate, enthusiastic student of life, who cared for her mother for 17 years. She brings her insights, compassion, experience and desire to share knowledge and healing to this ongoing conversation with others on the caregiving path. If you are caring for a parent, spouse, friend or other loved one this site offers sanity-saving tips, open-hearted self-care ideas, and an open forum for discussion, connection and sharing resources for the journey.
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