October 1, 2010 4 Comments
Here it is; if it seems useful to you, share the link with others. And I’d love to receive comments …(ETA: The PDF version is available here.)
Tips For Those New to Caregiving
By Swapna Kishore
Fifteen years ago, my father collapsed while getting up from a chair. A few hours later, instead of editing a document I had to submit to a client, I was trying to figure out how to look after someone bed-ridden thanks to a hip fracture. I assumed then that the situation was temporary, but as days, weeks, and months went by, my life kept changing to accommodate caregiving–first for my father, who never quite recovered, and then for my mother, who has dementia.
My caregiving journey is dotted with successes and failures, days of fulfillment and days of frustration. I’ve been sharing my experiences through my blog and website, and in support group meetings. Some days ago, a friend asked me to jot down suggestions for people newly thrust into the role of caregiving. Here is what I think…
Most of us have very little idea of the intensity involved in extended caregiving. We may have looked after someone with a fever, or spent a week or so supporting someone recovering from a surgery, but that is quite different from caring for a person suffering from a serious or disabling condition such as late-stage cancer, cerebral palsy, dementia, or organ failure. We may not have imagined ourselves (given our gender/ qualification/ skills/ good luck) as persons who may need to provide such care.
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