Friday 30 March 2018

A Couple of Things on My Mind

Happy Easter and Chag Sameach (Happy Passover) everyone! 

I've been writing quite a bit recently - here's what's been on my mind. 

1) Can we still be caregivers if our loved ones move into assisted living or long-term care facilities? Can we still 'be a family' if our loved one lives in an institutional setting? 

Here's what I wrote about that: As caregivers, our roles can easily become our identities. So how does a dependent loved one’s move out of the home affect us? Are we still caregivers? What will our new role be and how will we still manage to ‘be a family’ in a setting that is so different from home?

A loved one’s move into assisted living or long-term care does not cancel out family relationships. Caregiver roles change, but we are no less important to a loved one’s well-being because others are now tasked with performing physical care. Change is always challenging and when moving a parent out of the home and into assisted living or long-term care, there are a few considerations that will ease the transition for all.
Read more HERE (including my suggestions based on personal experience). 

2) And out today is something completely different - a meditation on putting care back into health care. I believe we need a social movement of patients and families who INSIST that care be at the center of all we do in health care and even in democracy.  Here's what I co-wrote with my friend Vickie Cammack about prioritizing caring in health care:

Ask any Canadian what “care” means and you will get rapid-fire answers that include words like kindness, love, concern, compassion and attentiveness. We know with inner certainty what it feels like to be cared for. But ask if these qualities come to mind when thinking about experiences in the health care system and you might get a blank stare or even a smirk.
As patients and caregivers we need emotional support, compassion and respect alongside expert analysis and intervention. If we make a collective decision that caring is a nonnegotiable component of healing, there are steps we can take to put caring back into health care.
Systems that are increasingly controlled by money and data place little value on the hard-to-measure caring currency of the heart. Today’s health professionals have little time for hand-holding or explaining procedures to frail elders, frightened cancer patients or worried family members. When Canada’s altruistic front-line medical staff actually manage to defy “efficiencies” and to take time for a more personal approach, their caring actions reduce trauma, ease suffering and contribute to healing.
Enjoy this long weekend, everyone. I hope everyone is able to enjoy the love of family and that all will feel the sense of hope and renewal that this season brings. 

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