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All Together Now

I’d like to address the healthcare professionals who are reading this column…(family caregivers, close your eyes). Please, remember that you have a real partner in care in your client’s family caregivers, and also remember that as we family caregivers are prone to take ourselves out of the all-important Circle of Care:

  • We make sure that our loved ones get the respite they need, but never give ourselves a break.

  • We make sure that our loved ones have all the medical attention they need, but forgo our own basic checkups.

  • We make sure that our loved ones get the nutrition they need, but only eat meals that are ordered through a clown’s mouth from a fast food drive-through lane.

We family caregivers are not only your best in-home partners as you care for our loved ones, but we are under great stress ourselves. So celebrate us and help us as we care for our loved ones. Give our loved ones the benefit of your wealth of knowledge, talent and experience; but make sure to find out how we’re doing, as well.

I actually know that many of you professionals understand this reality. Most of the best care advocates and healthcare professionals I have met over the past fifteen years started their careers after having cared for their loved ones themselves. Your hearts are truly in all that you do for family caregivers every day, and we implore you to take care of yourselves, as well. You are as important to us as you are to our loved ones.

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, does a carrot a day do the same for the ophthalmologist?

Gary Barg

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