Caregivers and friends of caregivers – check out this inspiring TEDx Talk from Frances Lewis: The Caregivers Journey: Caring for the Caregivers
In a household where serious medical illness shows up and a relationship changes from spouse to caregiver and patient, it is very common for caregivers to become clinically depressed or anxious.
For the caregiver, all the ways they envisioned their life with their loved one are shattered. The spouse doesn’t know how to act or what to do – no matter how strong the relationship was, becoming responsible for the person that was formerly their equal negatively affects the spouse and the patient.
In a relationship with illness, the caregiver and patient feed off each other’s emotions. Caregivers are afraid to ask for help, but not getting help aggravates the stress.
As Frances says, caregiving is hard work! The two simple intentions suggested by Frances Lewis to maintain strength in the face of uncertainty, pain and sadness:
- Take care of yourself. Take 15 minutes every day just for you. Treat yourself like company – have a quiet cup of tea, take a walk around the block. Self care isn’t selfish, self care if making sure you can show up as your best self for your loved one.
- Be an especially attentive listener to the person you are caring for. Listen deeply. Even if you can’t fix the issue, it has been scientifically proven that silent, attentive listening heals on a biological level. Learn and use open ended questions. When your loved one isn’t forthcoming with their feelings, you can ease them into sharing, and by sharing and listening you start to heal.
Take care of yourself and be present. Two simple, yet challenging acts of healing that we invite you to explore as you walk your own caregiver’s journey.
Connect with your local Caregiver Resource Center to learn more about resources available to you.Share this post: