Remember that wonderful song from the sixties by Ben E. King, called “Stand by Me?” Some of those lyrics are, “When the night has come and the land is dark and the moon is the only light we'll see. No I won't be afraid. Oh, I won't be afraid just as long as you stand, stand by me. So darling, darling stand by me, oh stand by me. Oh stand, stand by me. Stand by me.”
In my mind, this really speaks to caregivers and those they love. Life is a journey filled with ups and downs, as well as days that are bright and nights that are very dark. Caregivers work faithfully to navigate the ever changing terrain with patience, care, and good humor. Their eyes are on those they love, and they are willing to go many extra miles to stand by and care for those dear to their hearts.
What is also wondrous about the lives of caregivers is that they, too, have someone beside them. That dear one living with dementia or Parkinson’s Disease or mobility concerns is offering so much to life and love. That dear one brings history, and humor, and compassion, and new ways to engage life and love in their relationship with the one extending care. Everything changes over time, but at the core of nurturing, healthy relationships is an unwavering love that remains steadfast and true. Caregivers and those they love each want what is best for the other!
We are living through a pandemic that has inflicted great isolation into our culture and neighborhoods. If we felt lonely prior to COVID 19, we are most likely feeling very isolated now. Research continues to also remind us that caregiving often bears the brunt of social isolation. It is hard for caregivers to find the time for self-care or socialization outside of the home when the needs in the home are great.
It is good to know that outside of the walls of our homes are many people and organizations that care for others. These groups of people thrive on being of service. They put flesh and bone on compassion and problem solving, and find great joy in standing beside others. We invite you to trust that the goodness in you is worthy of such support, and we hope you will reach out to us as a starting point.
-Kathy Guisewite, CCN Coordinator