Decades ago when I began my caregiving life, I just did what I did. I’m not sure I was referred to as anything other than the daughter, the niece, or the mom, and I was too busy to care. However, as my elders became more dependent I began to hear myself, at least in medical settings, referred to as “the caretaker.” Somehow, that word made me grind my teeth. My loved ones were not a patch of land. They were not a house. They were not an object. Yet the term “caretaker” brought such images to mind. As the years went by, however, I slowly began to notice a change in terminology in the clinic and hospital settings. When I accompanied my loved ones to medical appointments, the dreaded “caretaker” was gradually overtaken by “caregiver.” Yes! That made sense. Caregiving seemed to help restore dignity to the person for whom I cared while describing what I did. However, with awareness comes change, and there is a new term we’ll all be seeing more of:
Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer
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