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Caregiving is Not a Competitive Sport: The Case for Supporting Caregivers’ Unique Decisions

Caregiver_eugene-chystiakov-U3pLKCu1mqM-unsplashPhoto credit Eugene Chystiakov

Caregiving. What does it mean to you? While often rewarding and frequently exhausting, it’s one of many life events that can only be understood if you’ve been intimately involved. This truth is what drives most caregivers to seek support from their peers as well as professionals who can share valuable information. So, what could go wrong in such a well-meaning group?

Normally, all is well in caregiver support groups. People help and comfort one another, offer advice based on what’s worked for them in a similar situation, or just simply offer a much-appreciated hug — virtual or otherwise. This much-needed, well-meaning support can go off-track when the debate over family home care vs. facility care comes into play. The arguments for and against these choices can be intense, something that only increases the already huge load of unearned guilt that caregivers often carry.

Decisions, decisions: Caregiving decisions are nearly always a matter of trade-offs. Balancing the benefits and risks of each scenario and then finally deciding — often through our tears — that this (whatever “this” might be) is what must be done.

And, there’s the rub:

Continue reading on HeroHealth for insights about how caregivers can support each other rather than sound as if they are competing:

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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