Caregivers Are Angels In Our Lives!

Q. I am a caregiver and you don’t talk much regarding caregivers. Why not? We have needs too. Any advice on that?

Frannie Rose: Oh such a good question! And yes, I have overlooked caregiving in my column, I am sad to say. However, I plan to add a caregiver’s corner to my next column.

Caregivers are like angels to their loved ones. They are there with a healing hand to give us what we need when we need it; be it dispensing our medications, making our meals, taking us out, and sitting with us when we are afraid and in pain. Their love for us is unconditional. Often they go unnoticed and under appreciated. This is not fair to them. They are “silent heroes” and often give up much of their lives seeing to it that we can live ours.

My husband became my caregiver. He has given much of his life to steer me on the road to healing. His words are loving when I cry, and his heart is with me when I am afraid. When I do badly, he remembers my medications and offers them to me. When I am too sick to even think about calling the doctor, he makes the call.

Yet he too has a life. He has needs to explore the world, create friendships, develop and nurture hobbies and walk on his own individual life path. It took quite a while for me to step outside of my own pain and fears to consciously realize that he has a life equal to mine and that I was not nurturing his freedom “to be” as he had done for me all those years.

Caregivers are people too. They were not bred to be caregivers, circumstances created this role for them. You and I all know that if they had to choose, they would choose freedom from illness in a life with us. We did not choose illness, yet they chose to be by our sides.

Nurture your caregivers’ interests. Encourage your spouse or caregiver to continue friendships and create new ones. Do not allow your circumstances of illness, to imprison him or her. For he is not a possession or “right” or something to take for granted or advantage of. Your caregiver is a person with his own set of needs, wants and desires. Create an environment where your caregiver is not afraid “to live” just because your life may be physically limiting.

Our caregivers during times of pain and sickness, are our heart and soul. But they are individuals and human beings just as we are. Yes, they can choose to walk away from us, but they have chosen not to. And yes they don’t have to live with our physical pain, but many of them would tell us, that watching one you love deal with illness is a quite a painful endeavor.

To all out there with wonderful caregivers, reflect on this and give them more of your heart. We are not ill out of our own choice, but remember that they have chosen to sit beside us.

(c) 2005 Frannie Rose