Tell Us: Why Do You Care?

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Tell Us: Why Do You Care?

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Often, people will assume they understand why we commit to caring for a family member or friend.

You know what they say about assumptions.

I'd love to know: Why do you care? Please be as honest as you'd like as you share your answer in our comments section, below. We're not about judging but all about understanding your experiences.

If your caregiving experience has ended, do you have greater clarity about why you cared? What do you understand now that you didn't then?

(We'd love to know more about your caregiving experiences. Please take our 2017 Annual Family Caregiver Survey.)

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6 Comments

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Denise

To add to your point, Babs: A caregiving experience doesn't end with a move to assisted living or a nursing home. You still must be involved and manage the care. Caregiving isn't about where your caree lives but about all you do to ensure quality of life for your caree and yourself.

Lillie Fuller

I cared because I was raised that way. My parents both cared. It's hereditary! It's a way of life!

Luigi

People can assume all they want, thats their problem they can nurture and care about. There are many reasons \"Why I Care\" and sometimes I tell myself \"This Caregiving thing is ABSOLUTE 24/7 CRAZINESS\" but the main reason is my Mom needs me and I could never abandon her in a Nursing Home.

CathyJ

Wow..that's an interesting question. My initial response was \"why wouldn't I care?\". I think caring and nurturing have always been a part of who I am, so it seems very foreign to hear that question. Ultimately, I care for my mom because I was cared for. She and my father set an environment for me from my birth that was full of love, respect and nurturing. Growing up, I always felt secured and supported. I always knew I was loved. I always knew I had somebody there for me. Those feelings continued to this day. With the diagnosis of my mom's Alzheimer's and her subsequent declines, caring for has been the greatest moment for me to genuinely return those decades of care that have been given to me.

Lark

Why do I care? I am a born caring person. I have not always made decisions from that perspective and I have often allowed too much chaos in my life in the name of a warped sense of caring. Due to early childhood events, I developed an unhealthy sense of responsibility for other people. I care for my husband on a full-time basis. We have been together for 20 years and at least 10 of them were incredibly difficult. We had a lousy marriage and I was sick of it but I prayed and always received the same answer which was \"love him\". As Robert became evidently very sick with something my life changed a great deal. We were together more and he needed more from me and I felt angry and used up. But I wanted to obey God and I did care about him, or anyone for that matter, who was losing the use of their legs and who's thinking was becoming confused. I was also caregiving my mother early on and that was incredibly difficult for me but, as I have said, I was born with a heart that cares and God has required that I use that gift and, because I love God, I respond with care. As the years have passed, my husband and I have been through the hammers of hell. The diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia was two years in coming. During that time we encountered medical professionals who were incredibly insensitive and had little knowledge of FTD. I am also a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. I don't want to live in bitterness and with a sense of \"what about me\". I do experience that thought at times and I work through it. I am where I want to be, doing what I want to be doing. It is my deliberate choice and I am here caring for my husband until my care is no longer required. I find the mental challenges to be extremely difficult. Exhaustion, frustration, and isolation from my old life create an environment that can and does create deep self-pity pots. Caring does not mean I am less vulnerable to the emotional and physical challenges of caregiving. Caring means I choose to find ways to release resentments, anger and a sense of entitlement. For me, when I finally had a personal relationship with Christ I did not and do not now, belong to myself. It is an act of love for me to serve others. In this environment, my husband and I have become close and we are doing this journey together. Caring is not for sissies. Just today I asked for prayer that I could learn to manage my moods better so as to keep myself from being harsh and full of unforgiveness. It is a tricky journey and I crave a life. I look at Robert and I take a deep breath and I surrender. I surrender my will and my life and I have gotten back an amazing gift of love, self-esteem, purpose and the ability to put someone else's needs ahead of mine. Why do I care? I care because I want to care.