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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Playing Well Together /   Editorial List  

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 Playing Well Together

If we were to see our lives in cinematic terms, the soundtracks to some family holiday dinners can be easily paced with a metronome. Could you please pass the salt….Thank you….How is work?…and your cousin Fred?

My family mealtime conversations, on the other hand, I liken to a jazz score: many voices, short notes and long, high and low, with many conversations seemingly occurring at the same time; yet accomplished players always know what is being discussed and laughed about, with seamless transitions occurring between politics, old memories, and even who wore what to the last holiday meal. These are conversations which take place throughout the evening, as my brother says, “All without the benefit of a single noun.” 

At a recent family dinner, I heard something from my sister Linda which seemed to float above the room for a few extra notes once it was said.  Like the rest of my immediate family, Linda proudly works in healthcare. In her work (as in mine) we are around talented and highly motivated men and women all day. So it struck her how she kept hearing from her fellow women in healthcare that they were concerned about not being treated seriously by their male counterparts; that the women were given cursory greetings while the men were benefiting from one another’s business opportunities. It is something that she honestly had not felt personally, but decided to start a luncheon group to hopefully help the women in the community share openly with one another about such issues. 

Linda’s comments started me thinking about some of the things I have heard over the past 16 years from family caregivers who were not being taken seriously. It is something we work hard to combat at the Fearless Caregiver Conferences and I have heard these comments from men as well as women. I actually hope the following question is one that not too many of us are able to answer in the affirmative, but I feel the need to ask it anyway.  Do you have specific stories of overt sexism from professionals or from other family caregivers?  

If you are able to share your story, maybe that is what it will take to make sure other caregivers do not face the same sour music as they also work to provide the best possible care for their loved ones.
 My caregiving story.       


Gary Barg

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