The Three Stages of Caregiving ©
"The Stages of Caregiving," ...evolved out of a ten year lesson as an intimate observer of this disease with my husband, and twenty five years as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, a discipline of counseling that forced me to relate to how people learn as well as how they are motivated. I not only had to integrate the emotional content associated with illness or injury, I also had the job of providing my clients with doable options. Mine was a very pragmatic discipline that focused more on what could be done with what was left to work with, and less on what was to blame for the problems.
The difficulty was in transferring that knowledge to my husbandís illness and my new role as his caregiver. In a sense I began to see my husbandís behaviors in terms of a puzzle that needed to be solved. That gave me a starting point and something to work with. As Tomís illness progressed I had to shift gears as his caregiver.
To put it into job oriented words, I shifted from co-worker, to supervisor, to boss. In essence that comparison embodies the same course we take as parents for our children, except it is in reverse.
In the beginning, while they are still infants and toddlers, we are the boss, we are in charge, we are autonomous.
As our children grow we teach and supervise and encourage independence and in a sense we are systematically giving up the reins of control.
At some point in the parenting process, they become adults and we become equals, co-workers on the road to life and we no longer have control over how they live their lives.
Then the roles change and it is they who walk us through the process in reverse.
For your information on the specifics of these stages of care click on the titles.
Stages 1-4 on the Reisberg, FAST Scale
Stages 5-6 on the Reisberg , FAST Scale
Stage 7 on the Reisberg, FAST Scale