Monday 14 June 2021


Photo by Geoffroy Hauwen on Unsplash

In the trenches of caregiving, we can feel very, very alone. We may never experience a sense of belonging except in that tiny world of our loved one's bedside (and possibly not even there). How can we feel belonging when our caring lives become so immersive and closed within the four walls of home or hospital? 

Lately I've been wondering if, when and how we feel belonging....

  • In our own skin
  • With our loved one
  • In our family
  • At work
  • In our friend group
  • In our faith group
  • In our neighbourhood or community
  • In caregiver groups
Do you feel belonging in these spaces? Try rating your sense of belonging (or how comfortable you feel) in each space. Rate your belonging on a scale of 0-3, 0 for no sense of belonging at all and 3 for Feel Very Comfortable and at Home in that space. 

What does your rating tell you about how to spend your time and energy within social spaces? What does your rating tell you about support that you might need in order to experience belonging? What are your barriers to belonging? What are your possibilities and opportunities? Comment to share your thoughts and feelings! 


Anonymous said...

Well at this point I feel pretty comfortable in my own skin and in my own roles.

So many caregivers report that they lose their own identities as the care work progressively becomes more intense or events like the birth of a child with many care needs, a stroke, brain injury in car accident, or cancer immediately trigger intense care.

John had a stroke in November 1997 and I was lucky to have physios who mentored us and a great workplace. Those connections helped me to maintain other roles beyond John's caregiver. Interestingly the advice from Caregivers Alberta in Elise Stolte's Edmonton Journal Consultation was "Don't quit your job. "

It is really important to ensure that family caregivers are supported to maintain their other roles beyond the family caregiving role. That requires respite and supportive people and communities. We need to build a better system around family caregivers so they can thrive.

The Caregivers' Living Room said...

Hi and thank you for sharing. You are so right that it is important to NOT allow caregiving to subsume every other role in life. It's hard to put that into action of care needs are very, very high, but it is certainly better for mental and physical health in the long run. We can and should do a much better job of supporting caregivers in their own communities to have a balanced life, just as you said.