Lessons From A Caregiver

“I am sure you will agree that caregiving can leave you feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, stressed out and confused and that is usually before 9 am.”

Tandy Elisala begins by acknowledging that caregiving is a tough journey and can have unfavourable effects on people. She shares what she learnt during her caregiving experience and how it can be helpful to other caregivers. An incident provides a useful insight that happiness can still be part of this experience, leading to seven lessons of caregiving.

Humor, gratitude and mindset (3:01 – 7:28)

“…when I was in the middle of my worst as a caregiver, I couldn’t find things to be grateful for but what I could do is find something that went well that day….”

Caregiving is accompanied by a lot of workload with hardly anyone we can share it with, in such cases, feeling grateful is hard. Appreciating our efforts by finding something we did right every day is a way to feel better at such times. Tandy Elisala,  suggests that in some situations which are out of our control, finding humor is the best option available. While it is okay to feel what we feel, but the way we think affects our actions and subsequent outcomes, it is hence, necessary that our thoughts are kept in check.

Self-care, advocacy and legacy (7:28 – 11:05)

“…. having those conversations of the heart… it is never too early to start talking….” 

Caregivers function as the voice of their care receivers and they try hard to meet the responsibilities that come with this role. While finding the right doctors, treatments and directives, self-care is neglected. Understanding that a caregiver being in a good state physically, mentally and emotionally is crucial for the well-being of the care receiver may help people practice self-care. People are often reluctant to have intimate conversations with their loved ones until it is too late, according to Elisala, caregivers often wish that they had started talking earlier.

The highest form of service and additional lessons (11:05 – end.)

“You have such an amazing superpower to serve as a caregiver on top of everything else that you do in your life”

Caregiving, a role which is often taken up without training is mostly unrecognized and people usually don’t praise themselves for doing that job. Elisala implies that knowing the significance of one’s role as a caregiver is important. She concludes by sharing a few more crucial tips to go with the seven lessons.

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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.  

Sharing your story helps understand yourself — feelings, passions, hopes. It lightens the load and offers relief from loneliness, anxiety, anger or guilt. 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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Source: Caregiving Podcast Network

This podcast has been curated by Caregiver Saathi. All Rights are Reserved with the original publisher and creators.

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