I guess caregiving is something that I've been familiar with since I was a child. I didn't know there was a word for it when I was younger though.
I have an older brother that's disabled due to errors in care that occurred when it came time for my mom to give birth. Doctors predicted that he wouldn't live very long. But, he's still here and part of our family of 7. It's truly been a family effort with everyone contributing in their own way, however, my mom would be considered my brother's primary caregiver.
Because of a variety of financial and health challenges that my family has experienced, although I've been blessed to have an awesome mom who is strong and resilient, I wonder from time to time if I would have her strength if dealt the same deck of cards. However, over the past few years, I have learned that there are resources for caregivers and that there may be better ways to manage the challenges that come with caregiving as an individual or family. This is important since I can't predict the future and do not know what will happen if/when I start my own family. I also do not know if I will face any significant health challenges myself or what role I will play in caring for my parents (or brother) in the future.
These considerations have played a significant role in motivating me to launch a new website for 20 and 30 somethings in a few months. The purpose of the website is to inform men and women that are in a similar stage of life as me- hopefully, it will help us consider how we can remain resilient if/when various situations present themselves. I also hope that those who have "been there before"or are currently caregivers will share some of their experiences such as highs, lows, and shoulda/woulda/couldas.
I want to make the most of my 20/30s. This includes considering resources, networks, and life changes that can help keep families together and/or result in supportive communities.
Questions to Ponder:
1. What comes to your mind when you see or hear the word caregiver?
2. What, if any, fears do you have about caregiving? Why or why not?
3. What does "successful" caregiving look like to you?
4. If you have spent time as a caregiver, what advice do you have for someone in their 20s or 30s?
This blog series is focused on Caregiving.
Would you like to have your story or experience featured on Informed!? Email your answers or story to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with a pen name (if you would like to remain anonymous).