Caring for the Caregiver – Part 4

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Dr. Dauwalder: My anecdote to myself is, true generosity has no cost. If you give something to someone there shouldn’t be something you expect back. It’s because you wanna give it and if you find, no it doesn’t mean everything is a perfect thing. Certainly we expect something’s in response with a spouse and other things and there is mutuality.

I’m not naïve but the true sense and the meaning of generosity, it wouldn’t have such power if you had to pay for it. Right, so just do it because it makes you feel good about who you are as a caregiver and if it doesn’t don’t hate yourself for it if you can only give because a level of care is so draining for you to care for your loved one and it’s not lack of love and if it’s only because you can care for them for four hours a day accept it, and then just dig around for resources. Whether it be taking up enough or a family member and sometimes I have people who even place because it’s a more loving thing, or the capacity to place a loved one and there is no guilt in that.

In fact, it would be the most loving thing you could do if you ask for assistance in what’s considered placement. It’s not right or wrong I don’t wannla be judgmental, it’s about that individual trying to be congruent in other words what you expect is what can be offered to you, you know. And a lot of stuff that I talk about that maybe you guys a little about you will figure out in a fifteen minute period, but I, there was a question a minute ago about Korean and we bring with that our culture and beliefs because as you hear me talking you realize I have a culture that I feel is my own but I’m not naïve. It comes from a great society that picked up things that are valuable to me. And in Korean culture, you have to ask because becauase most Koreans, south Koreans in general, …. obviously have a very strong religious background. Usually in Baptist churches, not always but you have to realize what is the normal course of someone that isn’t an immigrant from South Korea. So there’s the huge community within their church so ask, do you have a church community?

I ask if people are LDS, I ask if people are part of Church of Christ and sometimes those are resources. And I also know that some people and this is a factual statement of about 60 or 70 thousand people sample 11% of those people that are dying that individual does not wanna talk about it, doesn’t wanna know about now that’s ignorance and I cannot say that is wrong. I might not find that comforting, but I go in if that person does not wanna know, they don’t have to know about it.

And as long as we don’t know about it all our caregivers can accept it and acceptance is awesome, true acceptance is awesome and if you get there as a caregiver, then your exceptional but do not overestimate your capacity to give and do not correlate you willingness to give with love. Your love might be exceptional greater than mine and you can only give it four hours in a day don’t judge it based on these extrinsic mark models of what makes you valuable, if it’s four hours and it’s true love, it’s true love for four hours and you gotta go hang out under a tree, no problem whatsoever.

So be generous with yourself and you can be better at being generous towards others that’s my opinion but thank you very much. Do you have any questions by the way? You’re a very nice choice to clap, go ahead.
Male 1: You know twelve years ago been to Hospice with my mother and it was really interesting, it was difficult for my siblings and the doctors at the time that we had told my brothers and sisters to look at, cause they were having trouble physically with how much my mother was changing.

Dr. Dauwalder: Hmm, hmm!.

Male 1: And so he said you should take some of the pictures you have of your mother, the happy times, the times you were with her and look at those photos and realize that’s who she is that’s you mother and this is what’s happening now and when you look at those photos you’ll realize who she is. That’s your mother. more often it gives you mind some perspective of the fact that this is still the one you love, this is still you mother, she is just physically changing and therefore there is pain and other things that will make her seem different to you but you know then we go back into the photos, I always thought that was kind of interesting because I mean as you were talking you’ll have to deal with what is in front of you every day as a doctor and for most people, it’s that one or two times in life that they are dealing with it. So you try and look for their coping mechanisms and understanding that they can change.

Dr. Dauwalder: And that’s good and there are practices we do in the hospitals, some hospitals have them in terms of social work policies and then we do it that with our bereavement programs at the VNA and that’s really called legacy programs. Where you go in and determine what is the legacy of that person; to define somebody broadly not by a single event or action is difficult anyway. But it’s really great advice to do and depending on the disease I try to help people with that because sometimes patients don’t say what they really mean or know to the person they love. They are just random thoughts that are not necessarily filtered and accurate.

So that’s a great thing to do with the legacy and I think memories are awesome I know my mom got helped on Hospice and I stayed with her. She was in home and she passed away really pretty quickly and it was (CHF) heart failure and she was managed for a long time. She was in her mid-eighties, she was old when she had me if you really wanna know the truth, and that’s a side note. But anyways she passed away and it was awesome.

I mean considering that I could at least be there I thought that was great she was gonna die I mean I can’t do much about that. I can just try to be available to her, which I was and try to help her with the knowledge I had to understand that there just, my mom is still around. I mean I still, her influence on me is still there, my memories of her are still there clear. And certainly, there is was grieving, it was easier for me cause I didn’t live with her but it would be hard if it was my spouse, and it was very hard for my dad he got depressed and I was still helping him through that.
But, they still around and the good thing we … love is not something we, it’s something you feel right, and those feelings stay forever and that’s an awesomely great thing in my perspective.

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