Caregivers are invisible, unrecognized, underappreciated and deprioritized by Caregivers themselves. Most people look at caregiving as their familial/ social duty. 60-80% of the caregivers are women and the stereotypes of women create pressures of being nurturing/ caring/ multi-tasking/ self-sacrificing etc. We live in a patriarchal society where caregiving is a gendered role and as per the last Oxfam report, 16 lakh crore is the value of the unpaid care-related work that women do in India.
Caregiving to the dying, those with terminal illness or chronic conditions comes with its unique challenges for the caregiver, and in our society someone who finds it challenging to legitimately prioritize her needs or seek professional help. The secondary stress and trauma can have mental health ramifications and in a country where there is poor awareness of mental health, a stigma for taking professional help for mental health and a severe shortage of mental health professionals, it is absolutely critical to create support systems that provide psycho-social support. Our healthcare systems that are undergoing a workforce and infrastructure crisis, need to look at the family as a unit of health, not just the patient. The first step in the direction of this social change is creating the awareness of the challenges of caregivers and changing the narrative about caregiving – by telling stories of caregivers. When caregivers tell their stories, they feel heard and also experience a sense of purpose as their life experience can potentially influence, impact and improve the life of another. This is healing for their trauma and simultaneously creates hope and understanding for those who are active caregivers.
Currently, we run two video series on various social media platforms:
a. Gentle Warriors:
These are stories of Caregivers and their journeys as they typically look back on their journeys. We have found that it is far more challenging for active caregivers to speak on the camera. They usually participate in support group meetings, if at all. Here is an example of the series: Madhavi’s Perspective: http://blog.caregiversaathi.co.in/gentle-warriors-madhavis-perspective/
This video is published once a week.
b. Compassionate Caring:
The biggest influencer in the healthcare system is the doctor, the expert. Experienced doctors recognize the significance of care, caring, caregivers and homecare for the healing, wellbeing and even cure of the patient. There is an increasing understanding of palliative care, which needs to be extended to provide support to the caregiver too. We need to enable and empower the healthcare practitioners to seek care for themselves and understand the role of all stakeholders, especially when it comes to terminal illnesses or chronic/ life-limiting conditions. Here is an example of the series: Dr Rajam Iyer’s Opinion : http://blog.caregiversaathi.co.in/compassionate-caring-dr-rajam-iyers-opinion/
The video is published once every 3 weeks – ideally we would like to publish this once every fortnight.
Currently we leverage the power of social media to reach out to people. We are keen to explore other media like TV/ digital streaming so that the power of storytelling can help shift the narrative of caregiving and therefore the lives of caregivers.
The cost of producing, editing and publishing the videos is approximately INR 15,000 per video. We are keen on publishing these videos for a year.
52 videos of Gentle Warriors + 26 videos of Compassionate Caring
Estimated budget for a year = (15000*78) = INR 11,70,000
To donate, click here: https://caregiversaathi.co.in/donate-funds-form.php