What is your definition of a Hero? Do you know any Heroes? Do you consider anyone a Hero?
Have YOU ever been called a hero?
What a way to start off this post asking so many questions. Wait, I have more!
Are you a caregiver? A Mom? Do you look after a family member or friend? If so, YOU are a Hero!
There are different definitions of a Caregiver. Wikipedia has an interesting definition of Caregiver:
Carer (UK, NZ, Australian usage) and caregiver (US, Canadian usage) are words normally used to refer to unpaid relatives or friends of a disabled individual who help that individual with his or her activities of daily living.
The words may be prefixed with “family” “spousal”, “child” to distinguish between different care situations, and also to distinguish them definitively from the paid version of a caregiver, a Personal Care Assistant or Personal Care Attendant (PCA). Around half of all carers are effectively excluded from other, paid employment through the heavy demands and responsibilities of caring for a vulnerable relative or friend. The term “carer” may also be used to refer to a paid, employed, contracted PCA.
The general term dependant care (i.e., care of a dependant) is also used for the provided help. Terms such as “voluntary caregiver” and “informal carer” are also used occasionally, but these terms have been criticized by carers as misnomers because they are perceived as belittling the huge impact that caring may have on an individual’s life, the lack of realistic alternatives, and the degree of perceived duty of care felt by many relatives.
More recently, Carers UK has defined carers as people who “provide unpaid care by looking after an ill, frail or disabled family member, friend or partner”. Adults who act as carers for both their children and their parents are frequently called the Sandwich generation.
A general definition of a carer/caregiver is someone who is responsible for the care of someone who is mentally ill, mentally handicapped, physically disabled or whose health is impaired by sickness or old age. To help caregivers understand the role they have taken on, “Next Step in Care” outlines the following:
You are a caregiver if you:
- Take care of someone who has a chronic illness or disease.
- Manage medications or talk to doctors and nurses on someone’s behalf.
- Help bathe or dress someone who is frail or disabled.
- Take care of household chores, meals, or bills for someone who cannot do these things alone.
It’s my Duty Isn’t it?—Baroness Pitkeathley (1989)
With an increasingly aging population in all developed societies, the role of carer has been increasingly recognized as an important one, both functionally and economically. Many organizations which provide support for persons with disabilities have developed various forms of support for carers as well.
What is YOUR description of a Caregiver?
As caregivers, I don’t think we give much thought to what we do. We just do it. It’s natural, it’s what we do. We become masters of multi-tasking, juggling appointments, preparing lunches and making meals, transportation, cleaning, laundry and more. We are teachers, doctors, nurses, chefs, handyperson’s, therapists, advocates/speakers, to name a few, all wrapped into one.
When was the last time someone complimented you on everything you do? When was the last time someone thanked you for all you do?
When was the last time someone called YOU a Hero?
It’s not always easy or comfortable to hear those words, because to us it’s what we do all the time. It’s our life! It’s still feels good to hear them though, when we do.
Often people ask me; ‘How do you do it?’ My response of course is, ‘Do what?’ They reply; ‘Do everything you do with/for your son, and all the things you are involved in.’ What is our usual reply to a scenario like this? This is my life, I just do it. Just like you do everything you do in your life and for those around you.
Being Mom to a child with disabilities, we face challenges that many others don’t have. We all have different challenges in life we go through, but some are more specific, I’m sure you understandwhat I mean. I hope you do. We don’t look for pity. We don’t want you feeling sorry for us and all we go through. We are proud, just like you! It’s difficult for many of us to ask for help and/or support for whatever it is we might need. Although there are days we think we must be superman, we know we aren’t. It’s tough for us to take time for ourselves, but we learn, slowly and it’s something I don’t think any of us perfect.
A week or two ago, one of my son’s workers asked my permission to nominate me for an award through CCAC (Community Care Access Centre). I wasn’t sure what it was about or for, but she needed my permission to submit my name. Since things have been so busy with Patrick the past month, all I got was that it had something to do with being a caregiver. I gave my permission and honestly didn’t think about it again, till this past Friday when I received a letter in the mail from CCAC.
An initiative of South West CCAC and the healthline.ca
We are pleased to inform you that Michelle S. has nominated you for a
HEROES IN THE HOME Caregiver Recognition Award!
There is a special celebration on October 20th to receive this award.
WOW! How sweet of Michelle to think so much about me to feel I would give justice to and deserve this recognition. I really am blessed! The girls who come work here, love working for/with Patrick and I. We become like family and care for and about each other.
How amazing someone thinks of me as a Hero! It’s an indescribeable feeling. I’m just me after all, always am, have been and always will be.
I am very grateful for everyone in our life who loves and supports us. I am grateful for all the things, whether big or small that anyone does with and for us. I often wonder how I could ever repay everyone for all the kindness, love, support etc that they have shown us. It truly is overwhelming some days and I don’t think I could find enough words to express it.
For tonight though, I will say thank you! Thank you to all of you! May you know you are loved and thought of fondly often.
For tonight, I will check on Patrick before I crawl into my bed, and fall asleep knowing that someone thinks I’m a Hero. And I will let myself have warm fuzzy feelings, even if it’s for a short time because tomorrow I will wake up and do it all over again.
Let me leave you with one more thought…
YOU are a Hero too!!