Photo by Cedric Fauntleroy on

On recently discussing their need to care for a loved one with a friend, I became inspired to touch on this subject as I look inwardly at loved ones. Caregiving can be one of the most challenging and fulfilling experiences, especially for children, spouses, and siblings. I spent almost thirty years in the healthcare field, and now I watch loved ones and friends struggle with serious health issues that made them co-dependent. It’s painful to watch, and despite all my years of experience, when it is close to home, it grabs you in a way that makes you feel almost helpless. What makes this dynamic even more difficult is the emotional attachment involved. Those in need of care and those extending care have entered a very complex place within their roles at this crossroads of life!

Several factors play out; first, the caregiver must make sacrifices that might adversely affect their endeavors, socialization, and economic opportunities, depending on the economics, relationships, and where they both are during these occurances of their illness.  The past association plays a role in how we move forward in this altered state.  Condition of illnesses are unpredictable, and changes everything when they occur!  However, past experiences, good or bad, play a pivotal role in how those dynamics play out.  Whether they were a healthy or wholesome exchange or a toxic one, it all factors in the effectiveness of those served and those doing the serving.

As a seasoned healthcare care provider, which I’m no longer, I will suggest that life is too short for anyone to be miserable or make others miserable, no matter the situation. If we have a loved one too difficult to deal with or have had a toxic relationship,  it is best to delegate such care to someone with whom they’re no shared history. There are social services in place that offer a myriad of services to aid those in need, if it’s not feasible to do independently. This remove all excuses for being in a situation that benefits no one, not the person in need of care or the one rendering the care. It’s my experience that this is the most effective way to ensure care without conflict or guilt. There are many things we have the freedom to choose in this life, but what afflicts us or alters our state of being healthwise, we haven’t yet gotten the choice on, and it’s unlikely we will. Therefore, in rendering care, practical wisdom should lead the way to the benefit of all involved.

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