The impact of providing care takes a toll on the mind, body, and spiritual wellness of the person providing that care. Caring for someone at the most vulnerable times of their lives is not easy. Society and the healthcare industry have continued to call these caregivers “angels from heaven.”
We at Hope Grows call them Family Caregivers, but I sometimes wonder if that is the name of their choosing.
The individual stories of these “angels from heaven” are exceptional. The daughter who is helping mom as she struggles with early stages of dementia, or a wife helping her husband of 30-plus years who now has Parkinson’s. Or a partner picking up meds and driving him to the doctor because he had a stroke.
What about the wife keeping their household together because her spouse, addicted to a lifetime of drugs and opioids, begins to literally tear apart their house because he thinks he is renovating? Or the husband providing nursing care because his wife had a car accident that left her wheelchair bound? How about the mom with a child with special needs, wondering and worrying what their child’s future has in store?
Caregivers All Have Something in Common: Stress
I could go on; each of the stories of these wonderful, giving, self-sacrificing people are unique, yet so similar, because they all include two elements: providing care and stress.
Chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death. As we move into 2020 with our theme of Transitions, our goal at Hope Grows is to continue to Cultivate Caregiver Wellness™ by offering programs to help with stress reduction, maintaining balance and offering Short Breaks™ for a change of perspective.
One way we cultivate wellness is through our #ThinkCaregiver™ program. The platform is for caregivers to have a voice. As a member of ThinkCaregiver™, not only are you receiving check-in phone calls and self-care suggestions, but the social media component of the program creates a space for caregivers to share and interact.
Having a voice is important for good health and wellbeing and is essential in building a community of support. It also lends itself for advocacy to help spread the word; we can call and check-in with anyone, anywhere.
On certain days, the phone call or the suggestions may not be what you need, but the goal is to stay connected, because tomorrow may bring a day where the interaction will make a world of difference. Working through transitions is important while caregiving and Hope Grows continues to foster empowerment, self-awareness, and provide an emotional connection.
Providing a Model of Nature Therapy
While we incorporate a scientific proven model of nature therapy, you will find that a lot of our #SimpleSuggestions™ are about getting In2Nature™ for holistic health and well-being of mind, body and spirit. Just like nature, as we move through life, we transition through many seasons of change and the knowledge that we bring forth is priceless.
Transitions in caregiving sometimes may appear to move at a pace that seems too fast. As an example, our care receiver wakes up grumpy and we are greeted with an unpleasant emotion. Reading the emotion is second nature and then choices are made as to how we react. What knowledge do we have to help us through the constant changes of caregiving? How are we moving through the transitions of this journey?
Change is evident and altars the course of our life, it’s external. Transition is internal and consists of phases, an end to something, a time of searching and then new beginnings. The goal behind the Hope Grows ThinkCaregiver™ program is one of self-care and respite; taking Short Breaks™ to help keep quality of life at its optimum level.
If you are not already a member, join our ThinkCaregiver™ group as we explore a different focus each month. We will hopefully provide you with some tips, products and classes to help you through your journey of caregiving. Stay connected with us as we honor six caregivers and their stories during our Dear Caring Friend campaign (February 14-March 31) and the kickoff to our Iris Respite House Renovation Showcase on April 8th.