Sunday, August 11, 2013
Unwanted Caregiving You Need (Video 5:01)
You have been knocked down flat on your back due to an accident, surgery, or a disease. A reluctant patient, you have never felt this bad before. With the flu, injuries, minor surgeries, etc. you figured out how to make do. After all, you are strong, smart, self-sufficient at taking good care of your own needs. Other people rely on you, not the other way around. Being an independent spirit is your trademark. But not today.
Caregivers mean well, but they basically remind you of your vulnerability, weakness, inability to control your own life, and, most of all, your dependence on them. They don’t always do things the way you want them done. They don’t know where all your stuff is, what you like or dislike, your intimacies that are none of their business. Surely, your life has not come to this. But it has. This is how to meet the challenge.
1) Sooner or later (later is better), everyone needs help. It’s the nature of living, the reason you don’t live in a world where you are the only person. Oh, you may be a loner, a recluse, an “I don’t need anybody” person. You may even be a person who readily helps others, but you just don’t want help from them on a large scale. Lots of people fall into this category.
2) It’s time to accept the true meaning of giving and receiving. They are reciprocal opportunities, win-win in every way when caring hearts and grateful acceptance guide them. This is the basis of real relationships. Your time has come for openness to potential growth that will impact your reality.
3) To keep this relationship moving smoothly, remember to be respectful, flexible, patient, helpful, and grateful. Be as proactive as you can. You may be surprised at how many people really do want to help you. Spread out big and small caregiving assignments among several caregivers, especially if they are volunteering their time. No one wants be taken for granted. They have lives, too. For now, you and your caregivers can experience possibilities of other layers of living through one another.
Highly independent Ward Flynn, a cancer patient, understands your predicament well. In this video, he shares what he did when “the bottom fell out,” and he had to face the dreaded task of accepting caregiving support.
Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries.