FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN
/ Wisdom Sharing 101
She was in her mid-twenties. Her hand had been up for a
while before I was able to bring the microphone to her so
that she could ask a question of the expert panel at this
past Wednesday's Miami Fearless Caregiver Conference.
As she spoke, she started crying. Her mother had
recently fallen and broken her neck and she explained the
challenges she was having as a new caregiver, both mentally
and financially. Not to mention the challenges a caregiver
faces when a loved one is neither young nor old enough to
easily find services.
One panelist, Agustin Rodriguez from the Miami-Dade
Alliance for Aging immediately offered advice and
information and later the young woman asked me to direct her
to the table where his materials were displayed. But, what
I was most taken by was the abundance of information,
support and advice that came from her fellow caregivers in
the room, regardless of their own caregiving situation.
Some of the best advice she received was from the mother of
a disabled teenager, but she was also counseled by people
with loved ones much older than her 62 year old mother.
At the end of the day, one of the most important elements
of successful caregiving is learning to reach out to those
who are the greatest caregiving experts-your fellow
caregivers. This is important to do no matter where you meet
another family caregiver and regardless of the age, illness
or care situation with which they are dealing. I guarantee
you that you will be pleasantly surprised at what you learn
from them as well as what you are able to teach them.