Color & Control:

Editor’s Message

Closer, more confident, and in control

There’s lots of talk, plenty written and numerous studies about caregivers running on fumes, stretched to their limits and ready to crash. But, without discounting the challenges, there’s also merit in noting the positives and shining a light on some of the benefits.

When you’re ‘looking after’ or ‘looking out’ for someone else, regardless of their relationship to you, it’s hard not to feel a connection and a sense of purpose amidst the strain. Many carers even speak of reappraisal in their own life’s, improved spiritual connection.  Some find joy in reminiscing and the opportunity to spend time together than in previous years. One caregiver put it wisely when she said, “Since I left home, I’d only visited my mum for holidays and special events. The time I spent with her at the end of her life brought us closer than we’ve been in years. It also gave me the opportunity to learn more about her life before “me”, hear new stories about grandparents and pick up more pieces of our family history. We sorted things, cleared up clutter, looked at pictures, we laughed about some of my childhood misadventures, and even spent an afternoon or two taking a memory tour through our different homes and holidays. 

Not always the case but certainly for a lot of caregivers there’s also a sense of satisfaction that comes from being valued and respected not only by the person they are caring for but by family members and  siblings who appreciate the fact that someone reliable is nearby, in control of the situation and “on the job as required”.

While caregiving time is not always positive, or easy, there’s no doubt about it, a role as a full, or part-time caregiver can actually contribute to increased self-esteem and confidence that comes from doing good, learning to speak up, advocate, organize and take charge. 

According to one recent survey, carers also report positive experiences including “a sense of giving back to someone who has cares for them, the satisfaction of knowing that their loved one is getting excellent care, personal growth and increased meaning and purpose in life.” 

Here’s to hoping you and yours will find many of these “glass half full” moments on your caregiving journey’s this year.

Caroline Tapp-McDougall
Editor in Chief

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