John Constable – Study of clouds
Dear Friends and Readers,
I have started a new blog about caregiving and caregivers, called “Lights and Shades”.
I talked about this project about a month ago here. As this blog is coupled with a Facebook page where posts of your blogs are shared:
there will be a Facebook page for readers and/or followers of the new blog.
I hesitated to start a new adventure. But you know of The Little Family and The Girls. Life is sometimes difficult for them; it is often difficult for me. I wanted a space to talk of this non-status, which the one of the caregiver.
He or she provides the (most of the time daily) care needed by aged, ill, disabled, in any case dependent person. However, this dedication is not recognized (at least in France) by the law, or only in a side, oblique, way.
How the caregiver is to live remains a great mystery for me. When he or she is a full time caregiver – as I am – no financial means are provided. No help is given. Help can be attributed to the caregiven but not under the guise of material help: it must be a socializing form.
In my case, for instance, this means that I have no financial means to live on. I have no right to get help or relief or respite. Help is given to The Girls but this does not encompass cleaning and shopping or gardening: all these fall on me. The Shopping-cum-Cleaning Lady should only take The Girls to the library or the pictures/movies, or to take a walk, or to meet people. Which is stupid, as this Lady is very nice but much less aware of the intellectual or social needs of The Girls than I. And of course, less qualified to increase their instruction and cultural level. As I am less qualified than she is about cleaning, driving about, etc. As to the gardenner, he is considered as a luxury I have to fight for endlessly. I should be cutting the grass, mowing the lawn, cutting hedges, pruning trees, and so on. After all, I am a valid person who shares The Girls’ house with them. Thus thinks the administation in her great wisdom.
The new blog will deal with these material aspects of caregiving as well as with the psychological ones.
How does the caregiver live. How is his or her life? Does he or she have a social, emotional, life? Does he or she have friends, lovers, husband or wife? Does he or she have a family life? How does he or she take care of him/her self? What about illness, burn out, depression?
All these issues, which are crucial for me, have no place here. And yet, I need to discuss them. I expect I am not the only one. And so, I have started “Lights and Shades”.
Of course, any and all of you are welcome.