Monday, April 11, 2011

Slogans for Caregivers

I’ve been thinking about slogans this week. We use slogans in 12-step programs and Buddhist tradition uses slogans to teach the Eight-fold path. Self-help uses slogans and bumper sticker sayings as reminders. The power of a slogan is that it is memorable and if practiced it can kick in just when you need it.

So what would be good slogans for caregivers? A couple that come to mind right away are: Put on Your Own Oxygen First (when you want to do one more thing) and Ask and Ask Again (dealing with doctors, nurses and health insurers) and Tell Someone the Truth.

That last one is lifesaving because every caregiver has to have someone—not the patient and probably not even a family member --that they can tell their darkest truth to—all the scary yucky feelings like anger, resentment and wishing the patient would die. (Don’t believe a caregiver who says they have never had that thought—you are obviously not their “someone”.)

Something I heard this week that could also be a caregiver slogan is Whose Need is It? This is one I could use often I think to decide if I’m asking something of the patient because I have a need for their presence or to decide if they actually are the one who has a need for mine. It helps to keep expectations a bit clearer and maybe that would help the anger and resentment to decrease.

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