CARE PARTNERS

When providing care when someone is ill can be overwhelming. This is a presentation on three such roles: caregivers, caretakers, or care partners. These are strictly my definitions based on my own experience as a nurse, mother, wife, and patient.

To me, a caregiver is someone who gives care based on what he or she thinks the person needs or wants. This is a common definition and is often performed by nurses and medical staff personnel. Outside the medical community, the caregiver provides basic help in the home and tends to the personal needs of the patient (bathing, walking, exercising, cooking, etc.).

One who is a caretaker (not at the cemetery), provides care based strictly on what he or she thinks the patient wants or needs. Time for a bath, go for a walk, you must eat this, take these pills, and so forth.

At the beginning of my cancer journey, Jim was a caretaker. Based on my personality, I wanted a caregiver. We talked and he understood and became the best caregiver any person could want or need.

November 2008

Over the past 14 years, he has moved into the role of a care partner. Such people give care based on what the patient says or needs, and what is most helpful and safe. They listen to the patient. They share their thoughts about what is needed and wanted, coming to a decision that is best for the loved one. They are truly partners.

The important lesson to be learned when a loved one needs care is to provide safety and loving care. It is vitally important to encourage their independence…do not enable them. The goal should always be encouraging healthy choices, independence, and full recovery.

Learn more in my book, Outshine, An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. All proceeds go to gynecologic cancer research.

FICTION IN A FLASH CHALLENGE #26 @pursoot #Writing Community #IARTG #ASMSG

Award-winning author, Suzanne Burke, presents photo prompts encouraging and inviting anyone to write a short story, one-liner, or poem inspired by the photo. Here is my Tanka poem inspired by this charming photo.

  THE MAGICAL TEDDY BEAR
  
 HOW SOON WILL HE COME?
 WHEN WILL I SEE HIM AGAIN?
 HE LEFT IN A RUSH
 ON A STRETCHER WITH DOCTORS
 SURROUNDING HIS FRAIL BODY.
  
 HE CRIED OUT MY NAME
 BUT THEY SAID "NO BEARS ALLOWED"
 I CALLED OUT HIS NAME
 IN MY MAGICAL METHOD
 THAT ONLY HE AND I KNEW.
  
 SITTING BY THE FIRE
 EACH NIGHT I WAITED FOR HIM
 PRAYING FOR HEALING
 OF MY DEAR FRIEND WHO I LOVE
 AND IN RETURN LOVES ME TOO.
  
 AT LAST HE RETURNS
 WRAPPING HIS ARMS AROUND ME
 HIS BODY IS THIN
 BUT OUR LOVE WILL HELP IT HEAL
 THE SAME AS IT HAS EACH YEAR.
  
 I’M NOT JUST A BEAR
 MY STUFFING IS MAGICAL
 I CAN HEAR AND SPEAK
 ONLY WITH MY YOUNG OWNER
 WHO I WILL LOVE FOREVER.  

Like many children, I had a Teddy bear which I played with, dragged around, and shared my secrets. He was cuddly, never judging, and always there. This poem is in honor of my Teddy and all the other Teddy bears who have brought joy and comfort to children around the world.

I encourage you to go to Suzanne Burke’s website at https://sooozburkeauthor.wordpress.com/ and discover her books, blogs, and fiction in a flash challenges. You won’t be disappointed.