Cher Bergt, facilitator for our Hospice Caregiver Support Group, had a candid conversation with two previous support group participants, Jeff and Pub. Jeff and Pub began a 3-year caregiving journey with Jeff’s father shortly after the death of his mother in 2018. Together with Cher, Jeff and Pub reflect on their caregiving experience and offer practical advice for current caregivers related to the benefits of vulnerability, self-awareness, and self-care.
“One thing that shifted for me was recognizing that I wasn’t okay. Being able, for instance, to not have to always be professional at work. I could say what was going on. It gave my co-workers more opportunity for empathy and understanding. Most of the time I was fine, but then there would be times when I wouldn’t be. […] Being open was a challenge for me but I think it was something that definitely helped me and those around me during that time.” – Jeff
“One day I just sat in the living room and I felt that my body didn’t act the same way that it used to be. I realized that I needed to do something for myself. I knew it was hard because there were lots of things going on at that time, but sometimes, I just needed a moment to be with myself to see how I felt.” – Pub
“I had never participated in a support group before and I definitely had some reluctance about it because I felt like, ‘Oh I’m fine, we’re fine, we don’t need that’ but it definitely made a big difference for both of us. I’m really glad we did it.” – Jeff
“It is equally important taking care of yourself and the person. […] The person on that journey is dependent on you in that moment.” – Pub
Click the icon below to listen to the full podcast episode.