Yesterday I had the distinct privilege of doing "stand up" comedy for a group of caregivers who were being treated to lunch by a local church. One of my "life goals" (aka bucket list items) is to do stand up comedy. Of course, this FREAKS my children OUT! (Picture my evil grin here)
Anyway, the point is, each of the people invited is taking care of someone for an indefinite length of time. One lady is taking care of a sister with Alzheimer's, one 87 year old man is taking care of a daughter with brain cancer, one their aged father etc.... I was really blessed to be there. The church members had really gone to a lot of trouble to make these "strangers" feel loved, welcomed, and special. We had games, delicious food, door prizes, some tips on stress relief, and of course the wonderful comedy of Las Donnamo. (my stage name)
This experience got me to thinking about "caregivers". Society today defines caregivers as the people I have described and has recognized their need for recognition and relief. (By the way there were CSI's taking care of the patients while the caregivers were at the luncheon, in case you wondered.) This is great BUT...
Every Mom and some Dad's are also caregivers. They are on call 24-7 from the child's birth until adulthood. When children are young, before school age, children must be supervised, fed, clothed, changed, potty trained etc... all day every day. Of course as they age the needs and demands change. No one seems to realize this is just as stressful as taking care of an older adult (at least they stay put, usually). I think we need to recognize mother-hood as just as crazy making as adult care giving. Give these Mom's time off and time out. Got any thoughts on this?