Yes, You Are A Caregiver. Pat Yourself on the Back.
A friend was surprised that I called her a caregiver, because her father lives in the home and gives all of her mother’s direct care. My friend runs all over town buying groceries and picking up medicines, but she also makes special trips to be sure her mother has the special moisturizer and other toiletries she prefers. My friend is not just buying moisturizer, she is trying to make her mother’s world as normal as possible. My friend is purchasing dignity, control, and independence. My friend is a caregiver.
Another friend picks up her grandmother’s medication, and responds to several calls per week, going to the store whenever he grandmother needs anything. Her grandmother is healthy, she even drives, but she is lonely. She doesn’t want to move in with anyone, and she doesn’t want to ask anyone to visit more often, but she calls, and my friend responds. My friend doesn’t just drop off the items; she spends time, has lunch, or watches a TV show. My friend gives her grandmother the gift of presence, and she is a caregiver.
If you perform any service for someone who cannot do something for herself, you are a caregiver. If you do services that allow the caregiver to use time for other things, you are a caregiver. If you give company and comfort, you are also are part of the legion of unsung heroes, in the ranks of caregivers. Give yourself credit.