I just love when I receive messages from strangers who share my interest in exploring ideas about caregiving. Last evening, the little red number '1' appeared above the message symbol on my Facebook page (also called The Caregivers' Living Room). A student wanted to know if I would share her survey for caregivers of seniors - this survey represented her senior project, or perhaps the basis of her master's thesis. "Of course!" I answered immediately. But first, I completed the survey myself.
Well designed surveys manage to poke around in your heart of hearts and get to the truth of what you really feel about a given issue. They do this by asking the same key questions, phrased a little differently, over and over again. So it was with this survey. 'What drives you to give care?' was the essential query. As I answered questions such as, "Would you feel guilty if you didn't provide care?" and "Would your friends and family think worse of you if you did not provide care?", I began to reflect on my own true motivations as a caregiver.
I care for my family members because I love them. Because I love them, I want them to be comfortable, safe and happy. In seeking to help them be comfortable, I experience intimacy. When I experience intimacy, I feel most fully human.
The American author Willa Cather (1873-1947) wrote, “Religion is different from everything else; because in religion seeking is finding.” I think this is true of caring for others, as well.
If you care for a senior and would like to complete the survey, click HERE.