Caregivers come from all walks of life. Anyone can be a caregiver (and most people will be), though it takes someone special to care. A caregiver might care for an elderly parent, a sick spouse, a new baby or a disabled adult child. Some people care for family members, others care for multiple friends or community members, and others serve as professional caregivers helping different clients over time like our EasyLiving caregivers. Caregivers may be involved in any manner of tasks, for any number of hours per week or month. The job of being a caregiver for one particular person may last days, months, years, a lifetime.
The constant in the definition of caregiver is giving care. Caregivers may help in all sorts of concrete tasks–a caregiver’s role is almost always quite diverse. But, underlying all those tasks is the role of helping, the role of ensuring someone is taken care of, the role of giving.
How one person gives care may be very different from another. Your situation as a caregiver may be quite unique but there are also many others out there who may have gone through or be going through what you are in many ways. There is no one right way to be a caregiver. Even our professional caregivers at EasyLiving, who have professional training and certain procedures to follow, are in no way uniform in how they provide their care. They each bring their unique personality, skills and creativity to their work. Often times, as a team we learn creative solutions from each other because caregiving means constantly innovating to find the best ways to provide care for the individual.
Caregivers are the foundation of society. Without caregivers to help those who need care, we cannot function as an advanced society. Many famous speakers have shared the underlying message that it is how we care for those among us who need help (such as our youth, our elders, disabled individuals) that reflects most on our society:
“A society will be judged by how it treats its weakest members.”-Pope John Paul II
“Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.”-Pearl S. Buck
All of us will rely on a caregiver at some point in our lives, and most of us more than once.
Family caregivers provide 80% of care in the United States, care which has a massive value in terms of dollars but an even more massive value in intangible terms.
The workforce of those who help families in a professional caregiving capacity–in homes, in assisted living facilities, at hospitals, and in numerous other settings–continues to be stretched as more help is needed. These jobs are not the most glamorous jobs and do not always appear to be valued the same way other work is, but they are absolutely vital. The work of caregiving can be some of the most difficult, but also most rewarding.
As we reflect on things we are thankful for, we wanted to take some time to acknowledge caregivers and offer our thanks. As a caregiver, there may be times when your care recipient cannot or does not say thank you, but the things you do are truly appreciated. We try to say thanks often to our caregivers at EasyLiving, but we know we probably don’t say it often enough either. During holiday times especially, when caregivers give up their weekends and holidays to ensure elder clients have assistance, we want to state our appreciation for all that our team does.
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” Kahlil Gibran
Caregivers give of themselves and truly make a difference to their care recipients. Be proud of the work you do as a caregiver and know that there are many who are thankful for what you do, even if no one says it out loud today.
If you are a caregiver and need some assistance, have senior care questions or we can help in any way, give us a call any time at 727-448-0900. If you work as a caregiver or are interested in a career in caregiving, check out our caregiving jobs information: