Thursday, October 25, 2018

"It Takes A Villiage"

The phrase "it takes a village" is often heard in reference to raising children but another role where a village community is helpful is that of caregiving. Caregiving requires not only finances, physical, mental and emotional energy but it is often a task many individuals attempt to do alone. Most have no idea what is required until they are often abruptly thrust into the role. As people are living longer due to the wonders of modern technology it becomes vital to plan and look ahead as to how one can be prepared to navigate this role.
We all know the saying "when you fail to plan, you plan for failure" and when it comes to caregiving, not only the individual who needs care suffers but the one tasked to provide care often suffers more.
Caregiving often robs caregivers time to care for themselves causing an array of physical, emotional and mental problems. Those in need of care can often fall victim to abuse and/or neglect.
Remember, you cannot care effectively for someone else, unless you first take care of yourself.  Spend some time gaining an understanding of caregivers stress and ways to take control of your life as a caregiver. 
The big key to caregiving is resources...resources...resources. What things are available to you that will allow you to make aging and the role of caregiving a bit easier. Finding those resources often is not easy but they are out there. A very interesting concept I've recently learned about is called "village movements". This is where a group of individuals usually 50+ form a non-profit with the goal of providing services for themselves which will allow members to remain in their homes as long as possible. Many of the services provided are at reduced rate or provided by a network of volunteers. Villages are continuously expanding across the country. To learn more if there is one near you check the helpful village map.
I do not know about you but with the grace of God and the help of family and friends. I hope to live a long, full and vibrant life. Spend time thinking about what your caregiving needs may be and who will be involved. Caregiving is a full time job but definitely does not have to do alone. Check back next week where I will have more on how technology can be a useful tool for caregiving.

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