Monday, 14 December 2015
Sick of Caregiving?
I was surprised to see this question as the title of an email I received this morning. "Sick of Caregiving?" isn't the sort of thing I usually receive. My inbox is normally filled with things like "Latest stats on why caregivers live longer" or "How I learned to balance my job with caring for my Mom." Was this a challenge, I wondered? Or an advertisement? I was intrigued, so I clicked on it.
It turns out that "Sick of Caregiving? It's Our Place to Care" is the motto of a homecare service provider in New Zealand. They were advertising for a personal support worker, starting immediately. I don't know what kind of branding company they hired to create that slogan, but it's sure not working for them. Am I alone in thinking it's outrageous to advertise that way to family caregivers?
In addition my shock that they might believe there are loads of people who are just plain sick of caregiving, the implication that their staff are the right or proper ones to care just irks even more. (All you poor family caregivers have been doing it wrong all along!) Very strange.
Not only does this slogan play into the false idea that family caregiving is all burden and no joy, it also presents the other false notion that paid care is the correct alternative. Of course like all complicated and important things in life, neither is true. The fact is that families work in partnership with paid caregivers. If we are lucky enough to afford the help of paid caregivers for our loved ones, we work with them as a team. If anyone on that team is 'sick of caregiving', everyone has a problem.
Imagine if this company was a nanny agency. "Sick of parenting? Give your child to us - it's our place to care." Caregiving is the same - of course it's not always easy. Caring for someone you love whether it's your baby or your Mom can be frustrating or boring sometimes. But for almost everyone I know, love wins out at the end of day and keeps us going day after day. Love.