Stages of Caregiving

By Eunice K. Neubauer

Elderly Senior Citizens Caregiving Tips Education Twin Cities MNAt the Dallas Certified Senior Advisor conference in August, the last session I attended before the close of the conference was Denise M. Brown.  From the Chicago area, Denise launched Caregiving.com in 1996.  She has a wealth of knowledge.  She presented with grace and humor about the six stages of caregiving and the caregiving years.

More than 40 million persons in the US provide care to a family member and the number will continue to grow.   Research by Caregiving.com shows that family caregivers rate their stress at 4.16 out o 1-5 with 5 being the most stressed.   This number has not waivered much at all over the years.   Denise outlined the six stages of caregiving as:

Stage 1:   The Expectant Caregiver

Keyword:   Ask

Purpose:   Prepare and take care of self

Stage 2:  The Freshman Caregiver

Keyword:  Find

Purpose:  Experiment, get your feet wet and see what works

Stage 3:  The Entrenched Caregiver

Keyword:  Receive

Purpose: to develop a routine, create a schedule for yourself and your caree.  Self-care during caregiving is different. Be open to whatever feels right.

Stage 4: The Pragmatic Caregiver

Keyword:  Welcome

Purpose:   To gain a better understanding of yourself and your caree.  Let go of ego and control.  Here we release tension.  Find forgiveness, joys, shared activities that welcome beginnings and endings.

Stage 5 The Transitioning Caregiver

Keyword: Ally

Stage 6  The Godspeed Caregiver

To find out more about the last two stages I have to read the book.  I’m sure it will be extremely helpful as is her website at caregiving.com    There is a conference coming up in Chicago Nov  8-11th for caregivers and for professionals.   That can be found at her website as well.

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