Being A Caregiver
By Brian Dean

The last article talked a bit about the life of a caregiver. I thought that needed to be expanded a bit, as in some way we are all caregivers.

When I say caregiver, I am talking about a person who cares for another. This other could be patients or clients of a healthcare professional, family members like children, or seniors that need help, friends. A caregiver could be someone that goes to care for another to help them through a difficult time, knowing that they have either special skills, or the willingness to guide someone back to health.

In too many cases, the caregiver is not caring for themselves. They are extending their being to make sure they help those in their care. Unfortunately, we can not live in this world of being extended before we extend too far, and something snaps.

We as caregivers need to allow ourselves to seek the care we need. Visit the chiropractor, get that massage, take a break, even for just a little while. We have to give ourselves the same value of importance that we give others, or we won't be able to help others. So, care for self is crucial. Without it, we stop being the caregiver and become the cared for.

The other thing we need to know is that we can't live someone's life for them. I found this to be true when raising children. We can teach them, guide them, give them all the decision-making tools we can. But when they walk out that front door, we can not go with them. We can not be there telling them what they should be doing. We have to trust that we have taught them all we can and that they make the right decisions. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won't. Then all we can do is hope that they learn the right lessons from their bad decisions.

The same is true when caring for someone. We give the people we care for the tools they need to survive. But we can't make them use them. We can only hope they do, especially in cases where someone's life is hanging on their choices, whether this be a valued friend, client, or family member. We can sell the right thing as much as we can, but we can't force them to buy. We have to accept their choices, and allow them to do what they will, no matter how much we love then, no matter what the outcome.