Goodbye Grandpa

A 2009 report from the National Alliance on Caregiving indicated that 28 percent of adults are providing regular help to another person. This care mostly goes to an older person, but it may also include younger individuals-special needs children, individuals with severe chronic mental health problems and so on. Looking specifically at older people, the amount of care has increased because people are living longer and reach ages where disabilities are common. Furthermore, people appear to live longer than in the past after the onset of disabilities, including the cognitive problems associated with neurodegenerative conditions, such as dementia…
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…Caregiving can range from providing occasional and minimal care to giving ongoing, extensive and sometimes full-time care… In intense care, high stress situations, the challenges are considerable. Caregiving can take up most, if not all, of the caretaker’s time. It can feel like you are always on call and needing to be vigilant. It can also feel like you are engulfed — your life has become just caring and you cannot do the other things that have been important and rewarding…
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The other major psychological challenge is that care takes place in the context of a relationship that has a long, complex history…Caregivers may feel criticized and not appreciated by a parent or spouse they are caring for, or by siblings and other relatives. –Steven Zarit

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene from the point of view of someone who is in the demanding situation of caregiving.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you were a caregiver. How did you deal with the emotional toll?

Art Prompt: Caregiving

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the phenomenon of caregiving in today’s society and give them ideas for supporting people they know who are caregivers.

Photo Credit: Eric Ward on Flickr

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