The Role of a Caregiver
There is no set of rules written in stone that dictate how a caregiver must act. On the contrary, a person who finds themselves in that position must be able to adapt to the circumstances of the patient, which may change at any moment and without notice, both for better or worse. For all intents and purpose, the caregiver in charge of all the aspects of a human life. Over the months, the caregiver and the patient will share the most intimate moments; case in point, among the caregiver’s duties may be to bathe the patient.
Just like any other close relationship, the patient and caregiver shouldn’t bet expected to get along well all of the time. Care giving can become a very frustrating and stressing endeavor, and that is why it’s so important that the caregiver understand that he or she is not alone. As a matter of fact, the caregiver is an integral part of a bigger team, a team that may include doctors, nurses, relatives and friends. As part of Team Care Giving, the person has responsibilities such as administering medication, managing side effects, reporting problems, keeping family members involved, and helping to determine if a treatment is effective.
The greatest responsibility the caregiver has is towards the patient, though. The caregiver must do everything within their power to make sure that the patient leads a dignified, quality life. Even though the patient may be disabled, and needs help with the most basic activities, the caregiver still has to treat them with the proper respect, like an adult. It would be adding insult to injury to treat a sick person like a child. Moreover, the caregiver must be receptive but not prying, and emotionally as well as physically available.
Care giving can be quite a roller coaster for all parties involved. The caregiver must however keep in mind that it’s the journey that counts, and not the destination. Ultimately the positive will outweigh the negative, and the individual will be satisfied that they brought some relief to the burden of disease. Thus, should the caregiver become the patient one day, they will have built up enough good karma and there surely will be someone who will care for them. Like the poet John Donne wrote, ‘No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main… any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.’