Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Gifts of Caregiving... Making Connections

Those of you in the trenches can certainly agree with authors Nancy Mace and Peter Rabins, M.D., that caregiving your loved one often feels like The 36-Hour Day. We’ve all experienced those burdensome duties—but what about the gains? That is, the opportunities and gifts that caregiving can provide?

Opening yourself to possibilities reveals three bountiful rewards of caregiving: making connections with family and friends, reaching out into the community for greater support and, so very important, connecting with yourself—by entering into an entirely new dimension that reveals your strengths and capabilities.

Caregiving offers an opportunity for reinvigorating your family and continuing the circle of life. This provides a unique chance to rebuild family relationships and heal old wounds.  As family members come together in crisis and care, we lighten our own load, and create deeper connections with those we love.

Community connections turn out to be more than running to the movies or the grocery store. Your community offers a wealth of resources that can assist you and your loved one, including caregiver support groups, Adult Day Health programs and local education courses to enhance your caregiver skills.

As you deepen your commitment to serve your loved one you are moving beyond your old limits to embrace empathy, sacrifice and compassion as a way of life. Caregiving is service that feeds the soul and liberates the mind. You are best equipped for this dimension by developing self-care practices:  eating well, exercising regularly, taking time out and recognizing your special contributions.

Caregiving as a priceless opportunity can be yours. Try serving from your inner place of strength, abundance and wholeness.

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