Shayna says: "It makes a tremendous difference for the caregiver if the care recipient recognizes the caregiver’s efforts and well-being."
Well first to the ill person, okay, I believe in giving if they can. I’m not talking about dementia, but if the person is cognitively okay, realize what’s going on around you. Realize that there’s a need there as well. I remember I once had the flu and my husband said—and we had a good relationship—and he said “Don’t worry, I’ll manage dinner on my own.” And I wanted to say “Thanks. I’d like a little soup.” Some “I’m here! Hello!” But that’s what happens. So first and foremost, the spouse needs to take responsibility for the caregiver. It could be as simple as making sure there are flowers delivered once in a while if you’re able to make a phone call. That would make a tremendous difference. Saying “thank you”, saying “I’m sorry”, not even for things. […] You don’t have to be sorry for the illness but you could be sorry for what your spouse is going through. Just, there’s so many things that a well spouse goes through that a spouse can just appreciate, to recognize and just appreciate.
- What is it like to be a caregiver? – Shayna Caring for someone with a chronic illness meant that Shayna was making different decisions from other families.
- Uncovering how and why caregivers care – ShaynaShayna started by trying to do everything, but realized later that it is hard to change.
- Society and caregiving – ShaynaWhen you are living with someone with a chronic illness, you cannot always do things in a ’normal’ way. Shayna learned that people can respond very strongly to this.
- Social impact and lifestyle changes – Shayna (2)It can be challenging for children to grow up in a situation where one parent is sick and needs continuous care. Shayna tried to find the right balance with her family.
- Social impact and lifestyle changes – 2 – ShaynaFor her son’s wedding, Shayna wrote a letter in her husband’s name to ask people to enjoy the day so his absence would not be a source of distraction.
- Resources – ShaynaThanks to the adjustments made through a government program, Shayna and her husband maintain a higher level of independence.
- Interaction with professionals – ShaynaShayna describes two negative encounters with health care professionals that had an impact on her husband’s ability to deal with his illness.
- Impact on professional life and career – ShaynaAt times, Shayna’s caregiving responsibilities affected her performance at work.
- Health system issues – ShaynaPrograms that help the care recipient remain functional in society are indispensible. Shayna finds it important to see the bigger picture.
- Effects of care recipients’ behaviour – ShaynaShayna says: "It makes a tremendous difference for the caregiver if the care recipient recognizes the caregiver’s efforts and well-being."