A New Paradigm

This simple example is the new paradigm and it is very old fashioned. It begins with a willingness to interrupt plans, change goals and visions and be in immediate response to what is happening, offering our help.

I am a caregiver and my life showed me that the need for family caregivers is not well accepted.

I will explain what I mean.

I grew up with one’s family taking most of the responsibility when any type of caring was required. Parents are expected to care for their children- yes- but what happens when a child has a condition that makes parenting complicated or when the parents aren’t trained to meet the needs of their child?

As parents age, who will care for them if their children are unable or unwilling?

Presently, family caregivers are the only thing standing in the way of the mass institutionalization of the elders of our population. When we send our elders to live in institutions, we collectively lock away all the wisdom and experience they carry. That makes it essentially unusable for the younger population to use.

My daughter’s best friend’s father died when she was 34 years old. My daughter shared with her grandmother, age 87, about how her friend was grieving. Her grandmother said, “My dad died when I was 35 and I couldn’t imagine how my life would be okay without him.” Alana’s friend spoke with her grandmother who shared her experience, her pain and how her life moved forward without her Dad’s earthly presence.

This simple example is the new paradigm and it is very old fashioned. It begins with a willingness to interrupt plans, change goals and visions and be in immediate response to what is happening, offering our help.

When my Mom from age 44-70 was her Mom’s caregiver, she gave us an example of giving up much of the life she had chosen in favor of a life that included the care of her aging Mom. It is easy in retrospect to see that an even more fulfilling and beautiful life emerged for her, but at that time what she was losing was front and center and looming large. She had to access her faith.

“The problem is that the faith muscle is so uncomfortable to use.”

The new paradigm requires this muscle to not only be used but to strengthen and become a dominant force? Can we do this?

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2 thoughts on “A New Paradigm

  1. This is one of my favorite blogs. It makes great use of the creativity factor in how we live our lives–and it helps others design new lifeways instead of black and white choices, too!

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