Sunday, November 02, 2008

Some groups advocate the well-being of caregivers

Today, in a local Sunday school class, the pastor presented and the group discussed several items concerning caregiver well being.

The most controversial was probably the “Caregiver’s Bill of Rights” by Jo Horne, link here.

A couple of the rights bear repeating here:

“To maintain facets of my own life that do not include the person I care for, just as I would if he or she were healthy. I know that I do everything that I reasonably can for this person, and I have the right to do some things just for myself.

“To protect my individuality and my right to make a life for myself that will sustain me in the time when my loved one no longer need my full-time help.”

Another resources was “Caregiving Risks, Dangers and Rewards”, link here. One of the significant listed rewards is “a new relationship with person being cared for”.

Then there is “Caregiver Stress – Indicators”, link here.

Then there is the list “Are You an Overachieving Caregiver?” from “The Alzheimer’s Sourcebook for Caregivers,” books link here.

Various points came out in discussion. Caregivers can face risks, such as in managing medication (without medical training), or sometimes with appearances of conflicts with legal consequences, such as in the film 1998 “One True Thing.” One discussion participant reacted to the idea that the caregiver maintains components of a separate life. She felt that it is important to face the fact that some sacrifice is inevitable and part of life in any civilization, even if it is, in some sense, life-course altering sacrifice, for the concrete needs of another person or especially a parent.

There was discussion of the moral aspect, that caregiving involves responsibilities one cannot “choose” or avoid the way one makes decisions about having children (with the following responsibilities). In some families, adult children without their own children are expected to do most of the caregiving, an observation that again commands a deeper interpretation of the moral relationship between “choice” and family responsibility or responsibility for other people. Our modern civilization does not like to discuss this, but it will have to as demographics force the issue.

Medicare has a subsite for caregivers, with this link.

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