I am attempting the Wego Health Activist Writers’ Month Challenge. A post each day in April. So, now that I told you I am going to do it, I oughta follow through, right? Today’s prompt is giving advice to caregivers.
Advice the only way I know how to give it, as a recipe.
A recipe for good care giving
A healthy dose of love: This can be any kind of love. Parental love, sisterly love, the love you have for a friend, truly-madly-head-over-heels love. Maybe even tough love. With one condition, it must be unconditional.
Plenty of patience: You might have to look around because patience, although a virtue, can often be in short supply. This is one of those items that you just have to splurge on. Top shelf patience is rewarded in multiple ways – better communication and understanding are just a few. There are waiting rooms to be endured. Test results that just won’t show up. Panic from the patient about any number of things. Rescheduling outings and appointments. This particular ingredient has the power to transform a patient’s experience.
Sweet Tarts: Some people might argue with me on this one, even though I am certain I am right. After multiple procedures, hospital stays and general bad-health days, I can tell you, most assuredly, that if you show up with some Sweet Tarts, you have already shown you can take good care of me.
*MammaCakes always says that the path to hell is paved in good intentions. Those pesky good intentions. They aren’t really good in anyway, other than to make the intend-er to feel better about their lack of action. Never substitute good intentions for one of the above ingredients.
Gently stir the ingredients until they come together. Being gentle is the key. Words should be used to encourage and inspire, not chastise or shock.
Taste and adjust. Some days you need more love and less patience. Some days you need the opposite. Some days call for tough love. Some days call for a hand to be held. The best care is always evolving.
Bake. Time is important. It might be the single most important way to show you care. Make time to do things that are not related to the illness. Make time to sit and talk. Make time for yourself. As important as it is to make time for the patient, their needs cannot be allowed to consume you.