As Live-In carers we find ourselves to be transitory guests in a myriad of homes, living each day according to our client’s agenda, and often feeling that we are missing out on our own lives. On top of that, we don’t have the emotional support to navigate what feels to be a life devoid of purpose.
Sometimes a caregiver can feel like they are part of an invisible army – unnoticed, unrecognized and unappreciated. In a world where extraordinary lives are closely associated with success, we find ourselves in an industry where our seemingly ordinary work has become synonymous with a meaningless life. But it doesn’t have to be that way…
We are blessed with a plethora of client relationships and interactions that continue to shine the light on our own shadow – the perfect practice playground to slow down, lean into the discomfort of possibility and expand our perception.
It is in the seemingly mundane that we can bring back dignity and value to the elderly while embarking on our own journey of conscious caregiving.
Many of us who work with the ‘vulnerable’ and those transitioning into the ‘Golden Years’ realize that this timeframe provides anything but ease, happiness, contentment, or positive expectations. In reality what can be golden amidst the aches and pains of old age?
It is interesting but not totally unexpected that those we take care of are predominantly living in the past. Encouraging them to embrace the present is actually painful and all they really wish for is a future where life could be different…
So what to do?
The tendency for most of us is to jump into the role of rescuer. We are determined to save the day while fostering dependency and indispensability. We shield those in our care and sacrifice the truth to protect them. We feel sorry for them.
Does the care industry actually perpetuate the interplay between rescuer and victim? And, are we in fact doing a disservice to our clients with this current model of care?
When we don’t meet our clients with honesty we can foster shame and a sense of failure because of their denial to accept things as they are. This, in turn, can unleash a backlash of adverse attacks placing us in the firing line of a ‘persecutor’, who blames us for their misfortune!
A conscious caregiver will have the knowledge about the various roles that are in play and as a result is compassionate and engaging, realistic and reflective – providing positive reinforcement with a supportive, resourceful approach.
When the situation becomes oppressive they are able to effectively diffuse the intense energy around the unexpected behaviour.
We cannot change someone who feels like a victim but we can help them shift from feelings of helplessness to acknowledging that they have choices. This empowers them to step out of the drama and become the creator of their own lives.
It wasn’t until I learnt the hidden treasures in conscious relationships that I realize how sacred this work actually is. Understanding the interaction of victim, persecutor and rescuer and shifting to creator, challenger and coach is a complete game changer in our Industry.
Suddenly, our care offering can be outcomes based as opposed to problem-based, and as a consequence, we have the ability to achieve sustainable as opposed to transient results.
Reframing the golden years is affording our clients the opportunity to trust, surrender and know that there is a reliable path forward. Life unfolds at its own pace and is respected with genuine reverence.
Conscious connection is honest and clarity emerges when there is a safe space to listen and tune into the whispers of our innate wisdom. Those voices in our heads will always be there but balancing our internal dialogue is a practice that arises organically between a client and a caregiver who understands the dynamic patterns of the relationship and subtly orchestrates behavioural adjustments for the benefit of all concerned!