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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Pinkies Up for Caregivers /   Editorial List

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 Pinkies Up for Caregivers

Last week was the celebration of National Etiquette Week. Darn, I really wish I had known about it so I could have been more aware of how much kinder people were to one another.  I didnít notice any increased etiquette around me last week; but since the week ended on a Friday the 13th, I think people just were trying their best to keep the evil spirits away.

Frankly, I think attention being paid to how we treat one another is a tremendous idea, starting with one week and hopefully lasting throughout the year.  According to the founders of the celebration:

National Etiquette Week is the national recognition of etiquette and protocol in all areas of American lifeóbusiness, social, dining, travel, technology, wedding and international protocol. The week will raise awareness of all people to act with courtesy, civility, kindness, respect and manners as well as rally people to act with good manners in their everyday lives.

Wonderful sentiment, but may I add one additional area of lifeóhow about etiquette towards family caregivers?  It would be wonderful if those around us regularly adhered to some customs of civility towards family caregivers and our loved ones.  For example:

  • Donít assume that the person in the wheelchair cannot be engaged in your conversation. Remember to make eye contact with the person in the chair as well as the person behind the chair.  This goes double for our loved onesí medical professionals.
  • We caregivers are not just the person bringing our loved ones to their appointments; we are normally integrally involved with their care and should be treated as equal members of their care team.
  • If you hesitate to call a family caregiver because you donít know what to say; pick up the phone and try talking about anything but family caregiving; it would be a welcome relief.
  • If you canít figure out what to do for your friend or loved one who is a family caregiver, make a specific suggestion:  ďIíll come over Tuesday and cook dinner for you.Ē ďHey, Iím going to the drug store. Do you need anything?Ē  These are both good starts.

Hmmm...etiquette towards family caregivers?  Pass the finger bowl. I think Iím going to like this custom.
My additional Etiquette Towards Family Caregivers tips


Gary Barg

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