A Caregiver Does Angelwork

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According to the dictionary a caregiver is "a person who takes care of an ill or disabled child or adult." Are you kidding me? This definition makes me flat out angry because it doesn't begin to define what a caregiver is; what a caregiver does or who a caregiver is. I decided to write my own definition.

A caregiver is that rare and special individual who says "yes" to helping, supporting and caring for a loved one. A caregiver offers the most special gift of all to another human being who is in need of care. A caregiver doesn't just help with the daily challenges of life. A true caregiver provides not only physical support, but also emotional and spiritual support all given with love. A caregiver is really God's way of giving us angels here on Earth. A caregiver does angelwork.

As a society we need to do a better job of embracing the totality of what it means to be a caregiver for a loved one. And caregivers in turn need to embrace their role as one of importance, significance and honor they play in a loved one's life. So often the caregiver is alone in this journey and this aloneness leads to feelings of isolation and a lack of importance. And nothing could be further from the truth. When you care for a loved one, be it a mother, father, sibling, child or a friend, you are continually called upon to give unselfishly to your loved one.

There are days and nights when you feel like you are on your last leg, but you get up and keep going. You give and give and give and often you give without thinking of your needs. I don't want to use the sacrifice in the truest sense of the word, but there is most definitely sacrifice involved when you say "yes" to caregiving. Wouldn't it be better if as a caregiver, you wrapped your head around the idea that caregiving and Angelwork are one in the same? So the next time someone asks you what you've been doing lately…answer with, "I've been doing Angelwork." And see how that definition makes you feel.

Cindy Laverty is a Caregiver Coach and Founder of The Care Company, an online support website for family caregivers. Through programs, coaching and products, Cindy is dedicated to empowering family caregivers.

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11 Comments

Every now and then I have heard a comment from others."you're not working anymore, you're taking care of your mom." "Well, that is a job too." It is like they reconsider their words while they are saying them. They also usually say "I could never do that." You do not know what you would do until you are called to do it. Your beloved parent turns into a child and they are scared. Being a mom to your mom and dad is truly a calling.
To jeannegibbs Why do you have to comment at all?
i am closer to demonic than religious but i get this article authors drift . dementia care requires more than the average dull eyed mortal can deliver . love , patience , self sacrifice , personal pain , isolation , frustration , dashed hopes , loss of self and often income , etc .
i dont want to be an angel either , just the family member with the guts to step up and walk with his beloved on the scariest walk of their lives .