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Caregiving Reality

Articles

Below is a list of articles on caregiving, covering topics such as How-To and advice for dealing with various aspects of the caregiving process. There is also the Narrative category, which contains personal accounts of caregiving. Keep coming back as more articles are added.

Caregiving Principles

  • The Dignity of RiskWe should respect the people in our care, and part of this is giving the person in our care the dignity of risk. This is a difficult principle to apply in practice.
  • The Five Ls of CaregivingAs caregivers we need to Look, Listen, Learn, Let Go, and Love. Here is what that means.

How-to & Advice

  • Transitioning into The Role of CaregiverIt’s bigger than leaving home to attend college, or getting your first apartment. It’s a change of life that ranks up there with getting married, or having a child.
  • Come Close – Helping in Hard ThingsIf you see someone struggling and hurting, the best thing you can do is come close. You must come close in order for every other good thing to flow out from that.
  • Loneliness in CaregivingEvery caregiver experiences loneliness, when When we wrestle with acute loneliness it is really, really, hard. Here are some words to help.
  • Preparing for an Emergency Hospital VisitAll caregivers should prepare for the possibility of an emergency hospitalization of the person in our care. This list will help you make those plans.
  • When Emotions Weigh Us Down. Every caregiver will face a battle with their emotions. It can’t be avoided, but it isn’t a battle we can fight alone.
  • The Broken we Cannot Fix. As caregivers we want to fix every problem. But we there are some broken things we cannot fix, and that is important to remember.
  • When Driving Becomes DangerousFor every person suffering with dementia there comes a time when they should no longer drive. This can be a difficult situation to face.
  • Dealing With SundowningSundowning is a problem that develops with some dementia patients and can create an incredibly taxing situation for a caregiver.
  • Handling The HolidaysA holiday can be a particularly difficult time for a caregiver. All of the normal daily stress is compounded by the expectations of the celebration, company visiting, and disrupted schedules.
  • Caregiving With a SpouseCaring for someone while married has its own particular challenges. Many people are walking this path, and many face the unique struggles this brings.
  • Caregiving For a SpouseThere are some general points which are good for every person who is caring for their spouse to keep in mind.
  • How to Support a CaregiverIn life we will all know caregivers. Here are six key points to remember when supporting the caregivers in our lives.
  • When Help Isn’t WantedSometimes an offer of help is rebuffed because it was presented poorly, perhaps in a pushy manner or at the wrong time or place.

Narrative

  • Encouragement for Those Beginning The JourneyIt is easier not to care, but you have chosen to care. A new life begins, and you don’t know how you should feel about that.
  • How To Clean The Carpet. Sometimes its hard to know where story-telling ends and how-to clean up begins. We have a bit of both here.
  • Brightly. Some people in life burn with a special brightness. They stand out, and all the more so as they grow older and still the brightness shines. Doug was one of those people.
  • What Once Was and Shall be. It is hard enough when you have one grandparent who takes the path of Alzheimer’s; there is a particular melancholy when you watch a second follow.
  • Falling SlowlyIn such places it seems an intolerable thing that love so often hides behind scorned service, and the greatest sacrifices are often the most reviled.
  • When All Stories EndHe wanted to be an island fortress to himself, and now nobody will know him better in this life.
  • Saying GoodbyeI wanted to write about how Grandpa and I would laugh together, the foolish games we would play, and how I would tease him. I wanted to write about the long goodbye.
  • A Longing and a HauntingBeing a caregiver is like being a soldier, and like soldiers we don’t leave our pasts behind. Surviving can be a long journey.
  • The Muzzle and The LoadA raging fire leaves the landscape in ashes. The fire of caring for Grandma had a similar toll, except most of the rubble in my life remains unseen to eyes. [An essay for all who have faced a hard caregiving relationship.]
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