My Special Phone Call


My Special Phone Call

I’ve seen many articles written about how to provide support and help to caregivers.  Hooray for that and so glad it is being discussed.  Many suggestions are wonderful and give concrete ideas like offering to cook dinner (works for me!), providing time for the caregiver to go out by themselves (bring it on!), etc. All these tangible offers of help are terrific.

However, recently, I had the experience of getting a wonderful gift of support not in the form of a concrete task. During a phone call, my brother who lives 3 hours away said to me – “thank you, you and Marty are doing an amazing job with mom and I really appreciate it.”

I hung up the phone and began to cry.  I spend so much of my time beating myself up for not being good enough, for not doing enough, for thinking someone else would do a better job than me. 

Simply put, those words spoken by my brother was called VALIDATION and it meant so much.

One of official definitions of validation is:  to recognize or affirm the validity or worth of (a person or their feelings or opinions); cause (a person) to feel valued or worthwhile.

Bingo – by my brother saying “thank you and I appreciate it” I felt valued and worthwhile. Feelings I hadn’t felt in a while.

Last week, with the help of Denise Brown, I launched my podcast “On the Frontlines of Caregiving.” I had the honor of speaking with Mary Valis who is the caregiver for her 84-year-old mother, is raising a teenage son, is married AND just began her own life coaching business.  Talk about busy! 

Mary kindly shared her story, her ways of coping and a wonderful thought on what caregivers need in the way of validation.  I hope you will listen in and enjoy it.

I would also love to hear your thoughts on validation.  Did you ever receive it from an unexpected source?  What was the best validation you ever received?  Do you not get it and truly need it?  Please share!!

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Your interview so resonated with me. Your guest hit the nail on the head! I was just thinking this exact thing this weekend. Mom was here this weekend (lives in assisted living). I can tell that she so wants to contribute, rather than feel like a \"guest.\" The last time she was here, my sister was visiting too. And when I left to run an errand, my sister said I was barely out the door, when she said she wanted to do the dishes for me. I really needed to listen to this today! I'm struggling to figure out how to set things up so mom can help me. She desperately needs to feel needed! Thanks so much!