The Caregiver


Caring for loved ones can be an emotional journey for the family members whether they are the caregiver or the person being cared for.  No one wants to be in the position that others have to be forced to care for them.  It’s uncomfortable.  It may cause feelings of guilt.  It may even cause feelings of shame.  Yet, we can’t control what happens to our health as we age…or can we?

I asked some social media friends their thoughts about caring for family members.  Specifically, I asked if they would give up their jobs to become a caregiver.  I didn’t expect much response because simply acknowledging the question means that you have to think about mortality since caregiving usually comes right before the end of a person’s life.  As expected, I didn’t get a large amount of comments, but I received enough to get an idea of what others are thinking.

When I wrote that we can’t control our health as we age or can we, that factor weighed heavy for some.  They wrote that caring for a family member with a health issue would depend on the reason they needed the care.  If the family member had failing health due to natural factors and it was their parent, they would do what is necessary to make sacrifices to provide for the care.  However, if the care was due to poor choices made by the family member, regardless of title, they would have to think twice.  For example, they explained that if the family member needed help because they choose to smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day, then…

Others said without a doubt, they would leave their full-time positions to become a caregiver for family because they would want the same if things were reversed.  Things like lifestyles and materialism would not be a factor at all.

I was impressed by the level of responses, yet I wondered if those who choose not to respond really would’ve said otherwise.  Personally, I couldn’t even answer the question initially.  I do love my loved ones, but I don’t think I would be the best choice as a caregiver.  If I am honest with myself, I know that I will get bored from not working and that would probably build resentment.  Am I cold?  Maybe.  Am I realistic?  Yes.

There are many people who are in the care of family members who are abused and neglected by family due to resentment on a daily basis.  Most of these people had no intention of hurting their loved one, but things change.  I personally know of some caregivers who felt that they gave up their lives and now they didn’t matter.  They took their frustrations out on the person they swore they would love, protect, and help.  I think the best thing for me would be to continue working to be able to afford the best possible care from professionals.  I want to be able to love my loved one and do what’s best for all of us.

Life is unpredictable; however, we can prepare for some things that may become inevitable.  You can prepare now to think of your actions in case a family member needs you.  Would you be the best person to step in to provide care or would someone else be better suited in a professional capacity?

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