“For the entire journey of a caregiver, we would like to be present for them, as companions, as they walk this journey”
Bhavana Issar, the founder and CEO of Caregiver Saathi talks about what compelled her to form this organization. She had seen first-hand the often overlooked role that family caregivers undertake, and the lack of healing this can bring. She thought about the common denominator between all illnesses and realized that the underlying thread is the family caregiver.
Through Caregiver Saathi, she hopes to create an environment of well-being not only for the patient but for the caregiver as well. Caregiver Saathi is aware of the various issues that caregivers go through and aims to support these individual caregivers through their journeys, and support them through the dilemmas they face, which could be anything from legal and financial issues, to discussing caregiving in the workplace. Caregiver Saathi also aims to become present in healthcare and community systems, to educate them about caregiving, and to support caregivers navigating these systems.
“We would like to shine the light on caregivers especially the family caregivers so that they can recognize their needs, they can articulate their needs and those needs can be serviced as well”
The biggest obstacle is to get a caregiver to acknowledge that they require help and seek assistance for the same. Groups that have a huge influence on a caregiver’s life must move towards being caregiver centric. Caregiver Saathi is working on being a facilitator for the same.
Caregiver Saathi has endeavored to engage and bridge the gap through its website and app which is customized to pertain to potential problems that caregivers might face. The hope is that they find it to be a space where they can relieve their burdens and realize that they are not alone. The organization also believes in conducting it’s own research as this is a sphere that hasn’t been explored much. The idea is to reach out to educational institutions and engage the youth in realizing what it means to be a caregiver.
Moving forward, there is a need to change the narrative and that is going to require support from different spheres of the community. More importantly, to reach out to experienced caregivers who have undergone the role of a caregiver and can be incorporated in the program. The organization encourages people to be a part of this movement by contributing their skills, ideas, funds, and time.
If you can identify with this story, please share it with others who care for someone and help them share too. The feeling of understanding, not being alone and access to support is what keeps caregivers going.
As a healthcare professional, sharing your opinion helps reflect and influence the healthcare system at large. You can help bring back care into healthcare for the 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… they aren’t alone but part of a team.
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