Compassionate Caring: Raghu’s view on socio-cultural change and caregiving

“There’s going to be a lot of need for caregiving [for] elders, people who are lonely because their children have left…in one cross section of the population, the other cross section of the population which cant afford some of this care is going to have a lot of alienation of the old..” 

Raghu, one of Caregiver Saathi’s Mentors, is the co-founder of Sumedhas Academy for Human Context, The Barefoot Academy for Governance and FLAME TAO Knoware (Pvt. Ltd.). He has also published a very well-received book “Learning Through Yoga”.

In this video, Raghu talks about challenges in the caregiving process that come with socio-cultural developments in India. He discusses issues related to meeting the increasing requirement for caregiving in the current population. Changes in family structures lead to alienation of the elderly who are potential care-receivers. He also speaks about trends of advanced care in hospitalization that hospitals invest in, which he believes cannot be really referred to as ‘care’.

“My mother was doing most of the caregiving(to her mother-in-law)….I remember how stressed she used to get…she would want to be the best mother also…I don’t know whether there are people left who are going to do these things at all, so how do you learn…and most of this was learned because they lives in a joint family”

Raghu shares memories of seeing his mother stressed as she strived to be a good mother while also being a caregiver to his grandmother. His mother had a difficult time as she had to learn new skills as part of her caregiving journey. Looking back at this, he expresses his concern about the current scenario, where joint families are shrinking in number, and thus, caregivers do not have an example to look up to and learn these family caregiving skills.
Raghu discusses the fact that each person tries to perfect the role they play in their family. However, as caregivers, it becomes difficult for them to find work-life balance. He emphasizes why family caregivers will have to look for support eventually.

“You don’t have the time and the space to carry on being the’good dughter-in-law’ and the ‘good son’…just a matter of time when people see this and say ‘no I have to look at something else’ “

Raghu discusses the fact that each person tries to perfect the role they play in their family. However, as caregivers, it becomes difficult for them to find work-life balance. He emphazises why family caregivers will have to look for support eventually.

If you can identify with this story, please share it with others who can benefit from it. The feeling of understanding, not being alone and access to support is what keeps one going.

Sharing your opinion helps reflect and influence the healthcare system and our society at large. You can help bring back ‘care’ into healthcare and in society for patients, fellow professionals and the family caregivers. Our experiences and hopes can benefit others – to know that the challenges are the same, learn new ways to cope and care…no one is really alone but part of a team.

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Background Score: Dikshant Nangia and Siddhanth Singh

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