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Caregiving Soldiers in the Fight for Compassion!

shutterstock_89660173Caregiving requires a tireless effort filled with scrapes and bruises (physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually). Don’t forget: scrapes and bruises are temporary and heal.

Lives depend on the tireless efforts of the healthy and wounded Caregiver. (The singular term “Caregiver” is here being used in a composite sense to encompass all who regularly care and/or support sick or disabled persons.)

Many Caregivers are women and some are children…(For further context on Child Caregivers: Please, check out: World Mental Health Day: When the Caregiver is a Child.) …Seemingly soft and vulnerable ones in the hard, chaotic trenches of time consuming pain, agony, work. Caregivers require a special brand of resiliency to press onward!

In a sense, Caregiving is a privilege of compassion. As with all privileges, there comes a measure of added responsiblity and added work which takes added effort. Take COURAGE DEAR CAREGIVER & NEVER GIVE UP!:)

Here’s a THANK YOU! for all the times YOU deserved to hear one, but didn’t get one!:) YOU are making a positive difference! Don’t Stop being a Compassionate Caregiver!

65.7 million caregivers make up 29% of the U.S. adult population providing care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged. [The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP (2009), Caregiving in the U.S. National Alliance for Caregiving. Washington, DC.] – Updated: November 2012

More women than men are caregivers: an estimated 66% of caregivers are female. One-third (34%) take care of two or more people, and the average age of a female caregiver is 48.0. [The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP (2009), Caregiving in the U.S. National Alliance for Caregiving. Washington, DC.]Updated: November 2012

The Home Alone study―a study of family caregivers who provide complex chronic care―found that nearly half of the caregivers surveyed (46% or 777) performed medical & nursing tasks. More than 96% (747) also provided activities of daily living (ADL’s) supports (e.g., personal hygiene, dressing/undressing, or getting in and out of bed) or instrumental activities of daily living (IADL’s) (e.g., taking prescribed medications, shopping for groceries, transportation or using technology) supports, or both. Of these caregivers nearly two-thirds (501) did all three types of tasks. Of the non-medical family caregivers, two-thirds (605) provided *IADL assistance only. *(IADL=instrumental activity of daily living.)

Caregivers who care for a loved one with emotional or mental health issues are more likely to have made work accommodations 77% vs. 67% of  those caring for someone with no emotional or mental health issues. [Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care, AARP with United Health Hospital Fund October 2012]Updated: November 2012

Caregivers need the discipline, training, tireless attitude of a soldier! For this post, the definition/description of soldier is: “a person who works diligently for a cause” in this case, the cause is Compassion!shutterstock_120119272

We are at war. War against hate, violence, selfishness and fatigue aka apathy and indifference. Caregivers also fight against challenges peculiarly their own: What impact does this caregiving/compassion warfare have on the compassion soldier??

“While researchers have long known that caregiving can have deleterious mental health effects for caregivers, research shows that caregiving can have serious physical health consequences as well, 17% of caregivers feel their health in general has gotten worse as a result of their caregiving responsibilities.”

“Caregivers whose recipient has emotional or mental health problems are more likely than others to report a decline in their own health as a result (28% vs. 12%).” [The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP (2009), Caregiving in the U.S. National Alliance for Caregiving. Washington, DC.]Updated: November 2012

What personal challenges are YOU facing as Caregiver? Please, seek out support and help from trusted places with a track record of trust. Remember your limitations and act modestly. (Over do it and you’ll be the one needing care.) We all need someone and need something. (Let’s answer the calls of the needy within reason.) Let’s all be patient with each other…please. Friends don’t dominate one another; they yield and compromise and wait whenever possible. True friends put others’ needs ahead of their own to maintain peace and unity.

Certain lifestyle choices do NOT contribute to PEACE and WELLNESS: overconsuming, overeating, overdrinking and overindulging in alcohol…do not solve problems, but create new problems. We are all weak. We all have weakness. That’s why we all need TWEAKING!

Tweak the week: Make Small, attainable (weekly) positive adjustments (tweaks) that can take us far in our wellness-compassion-caregiving journey. Two traits to tweak/work on to help us:

1. Self-Control: a lack of this can cause caregivers to putter out….fast.

2. Fear of Man: can cause us NOT do the right (appropriate) thing at the right (appropriate) time that could help the right (appropriate) person.

Here’s an insightful/wise Proverb 17:22-

 “A heart that is joyful does good as a curer, but a spirit that is stricken makes the bones dry.”

What does that mean? Basically, this Proverb is acknowledging a psychosomatic principle…negative emotions/traits such as envy, jealousy, greed, hate injure us. Whereas positive emotions such as: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, self-control/patience benefit us tremendously.

We Do WELL and Feel WELL when we THINK WELL and ACT WELL!…(i.e. freely cultivate and freely demonstrate positive/healthy traits.) So simple, eh? -lol:) All of us need to learn war NO MORE.

FORGIVENESS is Critical to Caregiving Success!:)

Caregivers are in the process of caring, giving, loving, helping, working, forgiving, building, sustaining…LIFE & LIVING…a positive action thing!:) They are learning peace and how to care for and get along with others for the greater good. We can learn much from All Caregivers!:) Wouldn’t this Beautiful Planet that mancruel not mankind is destroying be a better home for all Beautiful-Breathing-Fragile-life if Everyone made a resolve, a firm, unwavering determination to practice:shutterstock_50147089

“They will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.”Isaiah 2:2-4. (Let’s unitedly work together and cooperate for compassion and peace always!:)


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Caregiving Soldiers in the Fight for Compassion!

Joan Winifred

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APA Reference
Winifred, J. (2014). Caregiving Soldiers in the Fight for Compassion!. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 16, 2019, from


Last updated: 19 Apr 2014
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