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What is a Family Caregiver?

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
August 6, 2022 3:30 am

What is a Family Caregiver?

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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August 6, 2022 3:30 am

This question is often asked of me. Many think because they are a parent, then they're a caregiver. Nurses, CNAs, and other medical personnel - are family caregivers, right? 

In this opening monologue from August 6, 2022, we discuss this issue. First and foremost, family caregivers don't receive a paycheck. Then, there are other significant differences. 

www.hopeforthecaregiver.com 

 

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Ah, Portugal. There's so much to do, but so little I feel like I have to do when we are here.

Talk about a foreign feeling. When we are back from vacation, let's make sure we are still on track with our investment plans. You know, just in case we want to retire here. With Vanguard advice, no matter what your retirement goals are, we can help you get there. That's the value of ownership. Visit vanguard.com and explore Vanguard advice.

All investing is subject to risk. Fund shareholders own the funds that own Vanguard. Services are provided by Vanguard Advisors Inc., a registered investment advisor. Welcome to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio.

I am Peter Rosenberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. How are you doing?

What's going on with you? More than 65 million Americans right now currently serve as a family caregiver. If you're one of them, you are in the right place. People say, well, you know, I'm a nurse, so I'm a caregiver. Or I'm a parent, so I'm a caregiver. Well, the activities certainly intersect and there's going to be a lot of similarities, but a family caregiver is different. Well, what's the difference? Okay, I'll tell you.

I'm glad you asked. The difference is, is a family caregiver is somebody who voluntarily puts themselves between a chronically impaired, vulnerable loved one. And you're putting yourself between that person and even worse disaster. And you're doing it without pay and usually without training.

In fact, without a lot of skills prepared for it, but you're just doing it because you're doing it out of love. And yeah, nurses are going to have a lot of the same activities. CNAs are going to have a lot of the same activities. Home healthcare aides are going to have a lot of the same activities, but that's a career choice. That is their job.

They get paid for it. They don't have to take it home with them unless they're a family caregiver taking care of somebody at home. A parent will take care of children.

They'll do everything, laundry and diapers and everything else. A lot of things seem similar, but that child is expected to grow up and become more independent and function as a healthy adult. When you deal with somebody with a chronic impairment, those expectations change. If you have a special needs child, for example, you may not be able to look forward to little league games, normal classroom experiences, homecoming dances, proms, weddings, weddings, living outside of the home and going on to have a family of their own. They may not be able to do it with a special needs child.

Some can, many cannot. When you're dealing with somebody who has had some type of stroke or some other type of trauma that has happened, things aren't going to get better this side of heaven. And that's the journey for so many people knowing that this is the way it's going to be. And we've got to learn to adjust our life to it.

It's not necessarily bad. It's different and it's challenging and it requires different skill sets and different understandings and different activities. And it requires an adjustment of our minds and our hearts.

And where does that come from? Well, certainly counseling helps. And there are all kinds of tips along the way we can learn based on the unique needs of our loved one. But what if you're dealing with somebody with an addiction or mental illness, alcoholism, all those kinds of things. You can learn a lot of tips in dealing with that, but when you have unpredictable behavior, you're going to have to learn more than just tips, aren't you? When you have behavior changes, you're going to have to learn more than just tips. You're going to learn things on a core level of who you are as a person and it's going to change who you are.

And again, that's not a bad thing. It's different and it's challenging and it requires outside help. And I have discovered in my many, many years of doing this that there is help available out there, but a lot of times help coming from people, even counselors, pastors, and so forth, they don't quite know what to say. There's a language barrier, if you will, and there's a desire.

Yeah. I mean, people want to help. I've seen that over and over.

They want to help and they'll do things that are incredibly thoughtful, but there is a language barrier where the caregiver doesn't always know what help looks like. And the ones that are offering help don't always know what help looks like. And so it's kind of a hit or miss kind of thing. You know, you're throwing darts, but there's no light on it. So you're doing it kind of in the dark.

You may hit the target, but wouldn't it be more effective if you actually could see what you were throwing darts at, if you could see the target. Ten years ago this month, I sat down with a very large radio station in Nashville, Tennessee, big eye hearts, station that carried all the big talk shows. And it was right there on music road is a big station. And I laid out my pitch of what I was trying to accomplish. I said, I want to do a program for caregivers.

And I sit across the table from ad executives there and so forth and program managers. And they said, you mean like nursing homes? I said, no, caregivers. I said, no, no, no, no, caregivers.

People who are making those decisions, people are struggling with this, special needs parents. And I went through the litany of it. I said, no. And they looked at me with kind of a blank look on their face. And they said, we don't get it.

We just don't think this is for us. I said, okay. So I went to a smaller station and they put me on, it was a midday once a week on a Wednesday. And I went down there and it was a very, very small station. I think I could have reached more people if I'd gone out in my backyard and yelled.

But that's okay. I did it. And I went and did it for eight or nine months. And then the bigger station called me, WLAC, they're in Nashville, 1510. And they called me and they said, we've been listening to your program.

We get it. And we think there's a place for you over here. And so I went on to that station and did it for eight years. And then American Family Radio graciously extended the invitation for me to come on this network. They said, we get this. And we started doing this on a much larger scale.

Then other networks picked up the show, the Truth Network, his radio, and so many, many others. Affiliates started picking up the program because they saw the need that individuals who are caring for these chronically impaired loved ones. And I don't care what the impairment is. Again, it could be autism. It could be addiction. It could be Alzheimer's.

It doesn't matter. There's always a chronic impairment. There's always a caregiver. And they recognize that the ones who are taking care of these people in whatever way they could were in desperate need of someone to speak to them in a way they could understand. And those caregivers were in desperate need of being able to learn a vocabulary of what help looks like.

And that's why I do the program. I remember spending literally decades literally decades doing this, the first 20 years of my caregiving journey struggling. And nobody really knew what to say to me. Nobody knew how to approach me. They tried. They were very sincere. They loved me.

They wanted to care for me. But it couldn't penetrate in to what I call that fog of caregivers, that fear, that obligation, that guilt that we live with as caregivers. And they didn't know how to say things that got through that. And I didn't know how to penetrate out of that fog and speak in a way to clearly ask for it. I couldn't identify my own core needs.

And it took a lifetime for me to wrestle through this. And I remember how lonely it was and how frustrating it was and how resentful I became and how discouraged I became. And so when I set out to do this program, that's what I keep in mind because I know that I'm not the only one. And that there are so many more who are struggling with these things. And I want them to be able to hear in a way they can understand what the gospel looks like in this, sounds like, how you can wrap your arms around it, what it means to trust God with this. I want them to see a clear, defined path to safety, even if it's just for today, for this moment. And I wanted to be able to help others to be able to reach into the heartache of caregivers, to be elbows deep into it and communicate clearly, take that sincere desire that they had and marry it with understanding. Isolation is one of the most crippling things that we as caregivers face. And it's not just physical isolation, it's the emotional and spiritual isolation that we struggle with. This program is going into that isolation with the clear message of the gospel to help people understand what it means to trust in God through this. This is Peter Rosenberg and this is Hope for the Caregiver. We'll be right back.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-15 09:24:34 / 2023-03-15 09:28:39 / 4

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