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Who cares for the caregivers

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Caregivers provide for not only the life sustaining needs or their charges but most importantly the quality of life needs. So what happens when it is the caregiver who is in need of the help? The short answer is ‘it depends’; the long answer is ‘we need to plan for this’.

If, as a caregiver, employed by a business, there are frequently some business related benefits which can help. Many times a caregiver will find themselves in need of help and friends they have made through work will step up and meet the need. When a family caregiver, this may not be as quickly stepped up to, however frequently there will be family members ready and willing to help out financially. And of course, there is always the resource information which has been part of the on the job training received as a caregiver.

The most important thing to know and keep in the forefront of the mind is, care comes in many different ways and caregivers come at the most unexpected times and ways. A very human friend recently was in need of a caregiver for a terminal illness. Due to the community the person lived in most caregivers were older than and just as frail as the ill person. However, there was always someone there during the day to meet the needs; meals, transportation to medical appointments, cleaning and so forth. The one caregiver who was there 247 from beginning of the illness to the end was Angel. Angel listened, met many of the needs as a helper dog, and was a constant companion. This person was never alone; right to the last breath, thanks to Angel.

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