Care Giving.

help concept, special toned photo f/x, focus point selective

I should know. I was caregiver for my late wife for seven years and for my late father for two. Both were as different as chalk and cheese in terms of the quality of the experience of caring, but in retrospect with time to reflect and having read up more on the experiences of others, I can say that there were some common features that I should have identified but missed and hence made both the care giving and the care receiving a painful process as far as my experience with my father was concerned.

Why am I suddenly raking up the past? I am neither a caregiver nor a care receiver at present and I hope that I will never become the latter ever.

One of my son, Ranjan’s young friends had been having problems with providing care for his retired widower father and had confided his problems with him. Ranjan suggested that the young man, let us call him Dilip, talk to me and so he called on me last week and shared his problems with me.  I in turn shared my experiences of what I did as a caregiver for my father and also what I should have done differently and what I should not have done at all. He seemed to have been relieved that his experience was not unique and went away with the intention of taking my advice on some matters that were his current problems.

During my caregiving days I was quite active on the caregivers group informally and formally via blogs, mail, personal contacts and facebook and one such contact of those days, JS contacted me on the messenger on facebook on reading my post on Justification with advice and we had a very fruitful exchange there.

These two instances coming one after the other last week got me to reflect on my own experiences as currently I am going through a whymeitis phase with a cold / fever phenomenon attributed to the changed weather conditions by my GP. This temporary setback made me think that if I can be so debilitated with a garden variety cold due to my senior citizen status, I may end up like my father did receiving care from a son and that I should try and not be like what my father was to me.

My reflections during the last few days has given me some insights which I need to firm up before I share them with my readers which I will do shortly as a sequel to this post.

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26 Responses to Care Giving.

  1. bikehikebabe says:

    I’ve never had to be a caregiver. I fear I’ll be a caretaker as my health is good, but I won’t be able to live without assistance. My happiness was based on my strength, capabilities & active life. I’ll be forced to change my attitude.

  2. Gabbygeezer says:

    One of my mother’s favorite expressions was, “I don’t want ever to be a burden on anyone.” She never was. I’m trying my best to do the same.
    Gabbygeezer recently posted..A Bad Approach to Our Potholes

  3. shackman says:

    I know of what you speak. I too conversed with caregivers of HD patients – oddly enough the spouse of my mopst frequent caregiver friend passed away within 2 weeks of Lynn. She always said it sounded like they were at the same stahe of the disease based upon our comparing situations. I look forward to Part II from you.

  4. wisewebwoman says:

    Excellent post, I, too, am in that position and would hate to be a burden to anyone.

    XO
    WWW
    wisewebwoman recently posted..Small Things Noticed & Praised.

  5. The best gift you can give to your loved ones is to be happy. Otherwise you can’t help but be a burden even if they don’t have to take care of you themselves.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..A Big Project

  6. tammy j says:

    i can’t see you ever being a burden to ranjan and manjiree.
    you are definitely loved and adored dear GOM!
    it’s one thing to be a caregiver to an angel like urmeela. but to take care of a cantankerous old man who was hateful to you for so many years… and to do it well. (i remember those days) … i’d say you’ve earned any care with kindness … however it might come about.
    i’m so sorry you’re ill. be careful. i thought first i had a cold too.
    then i thought it was bronchitis. by the time i finally gave in and saw a doctor… it was pneumonia! such is our time of life i guess!
    bob’s cancer also lasted almost two years. and it was my privilege to care for him. he never complained about his lot. he truly didn’t. amazing! i hope i could be the same under those circumstances.
    but i doubt it! 🙂
    tammy j recently posted..a toast to life

    • A couple of incidents when my blood pressure dropped caused me to wonder if I will ever need to be given care by anyone. That phase has passed and I am hopeful that I never become a burden to Ranjan.

  7. I think your experiences as a caregiver will be the basis of how you are if and when you become a care receiver. More empathy for the ones who love and care for you, no doubt.
    Still the Lucky Few recently posted..Motivating Seniors to Exercise

  8. Cathy in NZ says:

    maybe you should set up a “plan or similar” so that if the times for R & M to look after you – you are all on the same page as such.

    when I broke my arm, first time to have hardly any independence I could see what could lie ahead – family/friends helped and of course I had ACC help via a homecarer 3x a week…

    so yes, I’ve put a partial plan together but must work on it a bit more.

    • R and M both know exactly what to do if I am in no condition to decide on a course of action. It has been written down for them to produce to any medical authorities if needed,

  9. bikehikebabe says:

    I was hoping you’d say “Sorry. I’m laughing.” 😀

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