Caregiver / Considerations for Caregivers
Caregiving is not for everyone. Remember,
itís not about you. If the relationship is too
emotionally charged or patience is not your best
virtue, find someone else to take over the
primary role of caregiver.
It is important to reflect upon your motivations
for being a caregiver and to make an honest
assessment of your limitations.
As a caregiver you may at times feel powerless
and sad. But an experience laden with difficulty
may also provide opportunities to strengthen
relationships with loved ones, and for the
development of oneís own personal and spiritual
Focus on the quality of interactions with a
loved one, not on the quantity.
Consistency and predictability of visitations
are important, especially for the homebound.
Learn the healerís art of ďbearing witness.Ē
This means listening empathically and
suppressing the urge to intervene with
When speaking to someone in bed or in a
wheelchair, sit down or otherwise lower yourself
so that you are at the same eye level as they
are. This will distinguish you from others who
remain standing, essentially looking and
speaking down to them with the unspoken but
inherent power differential this implies.
Choose your battles wisely. Attempting to
address an irrational situation with rationality
is generally futile, and will increase conflict
with no resolution
The hearing impaired are often too prideful to
admit that they havenít heard most of what you
just said, and are hopeful that they can
eventually figure it out.
Those with mild cognitive impairment are still
quite capable of comprehension, but the thought
process may have slowed down a little. Be
patient and speak slowly.
Asking for a seniorís opinion about a
non-provocative issue may offer them an
opportunity to feel respected and still
At the dinner table when others are present, if
a person needs to have their food cut for them,
discreetly take the plate back into the kitchen
and cut it there. This will add an unspoken but
important element of dignity for those being