Why We Use the Term "Caree"

Denise

Why We Use the Term "Caree"

Denise
flowers-72177_640In 1996 I connected with Mirca Liberti, who co-founded an organization called Children of Aging Parents in 1988. She became my mentor, encouraging me and educating me.

Mirca invited me to be a guest in her home in Bucks County, Penn., on a regular basis. (Mirca also nominated Donna Baldwin for our Careigver of the Year contest; Donna's experience inspired me to choose green for our next Family Caregiver Awareness Day--Wear Green on April 17.) Mirca was a great connector so, during my visit, we spent time driving to meet family caregivers or professionals Mirca thought I should know. During my first visit to Mirca's home and during one of those drives, I used the term "loved one" in reference to the individuals for whom we care.

Mirca shuddered as soon as those two works crossed my lips. "Use 'care recipient,'" she said. "Sometimes we care for family members who aren't our loved ones."

So, I switched to care recipient, which became the term we used for almost 13 years until December of 2009 when one of our bloggers (Donna, who cared for her mom) asked me: Can't we use a different term? I don't feel comfortable using the term "care recipient" when I'm referred to my mom.

So, we had a contest, "Out With Care Recipient, In With??". I asked members and visitors to submit their best term. We then voted and "caree" won. Caree become part of our language here and is commonly used on social media.

Sometimes, we care for those we love. Sometimes, we care for family members who aren't our loved ones. All the time, we do our best to love ourselves enough to get through one of life's toughest times--caregiving. All the time, we support you.