12 Conversations for Caregivers

Relationships are the foundation for love, support, and caregiving. Walking an extended healthcare journey may bring out the best and the worst in us and our loved ones. Relationships are blessed. Relationships are torn apart.

Caregiving may be well orchestrated. Caregiving may be intensely chaotic. We may direct the care well, and at other times we are directed by chaos and circumstances beyond our control.

Flooding emotions are the norm: love, frustrations, hope, despair, gratefulness, resentment, energy, fatigue, confidence, confusion, fear, courage, calm, and desperation only begin to describe the journey.

The diagnosis is a “not-so-silent” silent partner in our lives. It screams for our attention. It becomes the focal point of living, yet it may be the harbinger of death. It may bring us closer together in our love, or it may rob us of our joy.

Giving and receiving support is an essential part of self-care for caregivers. There is a danger that caregivers may become socially isolated. Staying connected to people who understand you and care about you is vital for your well being.

In these twelve conversations for caregivers, you will have opportunities to share with others who are also on their caregiving journeys. Each conversation topic provides a loosely structured format with questions that encourage you to share your experiences. These conversations may occur in a small group or simply between two caregivers.

You will learn from the stories of others that you are not alone. You will bond with others who are walking this journey.  You will give and receive strength as you juggle the many demands on your life.

Conversation 1: Life Before the Diagnosis

Conversation 2: Beginning the Journey

Conversation 3: Physical Challenges of Caregiving

Conversation 4: Your Medical Team

Conversation 5: Relationship Roles

Conversation 6: Support Networks

Conversation 7: Managing Outcomes

Conversation 8: Legal and Financial Matters

Conversation 9: Self-Care for the Caregiver

Conversation 10: Community

Conversation 11: Planning for the Future

Conversation 12: If You Are Saying Goodbye

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