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Playing Kvetch


kvetch \ KVECH
1. To complain habitually.
1. A complaint.  | 2. A habitual complainer.

Sometimes, I feel there is a great disconnect between what is heard from the healthcare community and what caregivers are telling me themselves. (Ok, maybe more than often, just sometimes.) I do admit to feeling like somewhat of a kvetcher when these moments strike. But someone's got to do it.

Here we go:

Of course, you know my old complaint about the phrase "parenting your parent." No matter what we have to do to support our parents as they need our help, we must never begin to think we are actually parenting them. It is a cute and easy play on words, but heaven forbid that you ever let them know that is what you really think you are up to. They will send you to your room without supper. Or worse.

I remember a conversation I had with my friend, Jeff Loomis from the Winn Army Community Hospital, when he mentioned his distaste for the term "Caregiver Burden." “Caregiver burden” is used by professionals to describe the physical, emotional and financial cost of providing care. Understandably, it is a necessary concept to take into consideration when caring for their caregiving clients and there has even been an important scale created to measure "caregiver burden." It is just not a phrase that goes over well when you are talking with actual caregivers.  

Since language relays attitudes and emotions as much as it does information, it is never more important to get the terminology right than when it involves the care of our loved ones. Let's take this opportunity to shed some light on those words or phrases you hear that make you cringe.

Take it from me, every once in a while - it's good to kvetch a little.

My bothersome phrases

Gary Barg

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