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Meredith Doesn’t Like “Caregiver”; What Do You Dislike?

kids night on broadway 020210Meredith Vieira recently joined The Dr. Oz Show to share about her life, including caring for her husband, Richard, who has multiple sclerosis. You can videos of interview with Dr. Oz here. (Thanks to @g-j for the heads-up about the interview.)

Illness is a family affair, Meredith said, as she offered suggestions for others who care for a family member with a chronic illness. Meredith spoke one-on-one with Dr. Oz before her husband joined them. Both Meredith and Richard spoke honestly about the impact of MS on their relationship, including what they’ve given up because of the disease.

During the interview, Meredith says she doesn’t like the term “caregiver.” She believes her husband helps her just as she does him. When asked how he views Meredith’s role, Richard explained that he feels Meredith is his partner, that they are a team.

I’d love to know what don’t you like that’s related to your caregiving experience. If you’d like to move the needle from dislike to hate, go for it. It could be related to a specific part of your caregiving experience–like you dislike the waits, you dislike the side effects of your caree’s medications. It could be related to how caregiving impacts your life–like you hate that what you thought your life would be isn’t that at all.

What do you dislike or hate? Please share your thoughts in our comments section, below.

About Denise

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I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues. I've written several caregiving books, including "The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey," "Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers" and "After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again." You can purchase my books and schedule a coaching call with me in our store.

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  1. Profile photo of Busybee

    I have no Ideal why she does not like being call a caregiver. I mean i understand but she did marry him for better or worst. I am going to be my husband caregiver in June when he has his back surgery. So i know that I am his parterner. We do alot together before he hurt his back. Like work in the yard and the garden and we also cooked together. I love hanging out with my husband. The only thing I do hate is not being able to go out because his brother or sister don’t want to sit with their dad. but other wise I love my job because I know it so well.

    I think I got off Subject. Let me know if I did.

  2. I am the caregiver to my 13 year old son who was recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. What I dislike is what it has done to our relationship. He is still in the anger phase of dealing with his diagnosis which makes it tricky ground to manage. I have to talk diabetes all day with him, how many carbs is that? Did you take your blood sugar? Did you take your insulin? These questions and what has become our new everyday existence can make him very angry. As his mom I hate seeing him struggle with this disease and I hate to think of the possible complications of the disease. Even though I hate what has happened and he still struggles with the disease, I am very proud of the the things that he takes in stride and handles with grace. I never knew that as a parent my heart could break in sadness and burst with pride all at the same time.

  3. Profile photo of Teresa

    Many friends of mine who have MS have met Meredith and Richard at local functions in Chicago. They both are well liked and do much for the MS community.

    Basically, the terms associated with taking care of another is a play on words. Personally, I do not like the word “caretaker” because it reminds me of someone who care for a cemetery, although I still use it. At Rush University Medical Center, they use the term “Care Partner” because care is provided as a team. I think it depends on what each person prefers and how they define it.

  4. Profile photo of

    I don’t mind being called caregiver, however like Teresa I do mind the word caretaker. As for the aspect of what I don’t like about caregiving, I don’t like that family members can’t do what they used to do. However, we make adjustments and find other activities to enjoy. I’m just glad they’re still here.


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