Wednesday 1 November 2023

Here's a Concept That May Explain a LOT

 A few months ago, I was chatting with the caregiving thought leader and founder of the Caregiving Years Training Academy, Denise Brown. Denise and I always have great conversations and this time, she mentioned an idea that really caught my attention. "You know why caregivers are so desperate?" she asked, "it's because they don't have their basic needs met." 

I've been thinking about this a lot. When I read about the real life trials and tribulations of overworked and overwrought caregivers, I ask myself, "which of their basic needs are not being met? Do they have enough rest? Do they have enough money to live without worry about food and shelter costs? Do they have time for reflection in order to process loss and grief? Do they have access to exercise and time outdoors?" The list goes on. Most often, I see that caregivers have multiple unmet needs. And these needs are BASIC, they are not frivolous. Basic needs are the minimum standard that humans need to survive, much less thrive. 

What if we had support programs that were designed to meet caregivers' basic needs? What would such a program look like? 

Next week, the Canadian Centre for Caregiving Excellence is holding its first ever Summit from November 6-8th in Ottawa.  Organizers will be seeking policy suggestions from the audience and I intend to suggest this one: that meeting caregivers' basic needs should be one framework for considering how to advocate for a national caregiver strategy. 

So, I would like to know from you: 1) Do you have your basic needs met? and 2) Do you have caregiver support policy ideas for the federal or provincial levels of government in Canada? 

Thank you for sharing! 

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