I have encountered many people with different needs—not all of whom have disabilities. In general, I have often found that the most time, effort, and focus goes towards people with the most needs. The strong protect and care for the week. But in doing this, caregivers often forget about and neglect their own needs.
This is a reflection on the importance of helping caregivers remember that they themselves are complete people with needs. I realize that doing this is hard. But it is an issue of importance. People that devote themselves to others deserve the same care and understanding. So sit with me as I reflect.
A person who cares.
Those that have been there from the start.
Caregivers are at the very heart.
Without caregivers, the voiceless could not have words to express.
As a support worker, I can guess what your career already knows.
Likes. Dislikes. Passions. Choices.
Friends. Family. Those you love.
But do those that look out for you have someone who looks out for them?
Supporting them. Meeting their needs. Helping them heal.
This is what we all must consider.
We may not know someone with additional needs.
But we should get to know their caregiver.
So we can care for that person.
Because often caregivers forget themselves.
They don't have time or head space for burnout.
Therefore, we need to keep an eye out for them.
Remind them to eat, sleep, and breathe.
Show a caregiver that they are a full person.
They deserve to do these things just as much.
Present. Available. Generous. Forgiving.
Help to hold them steady with compassion.
Be the caregiver for the caregiver.
The supper humans who are weary from the battle.
Recognize and step in for them sometimes.
Go now to those who care for the vulnerable.
For everyone should have someone.
Someone who cares.
Image credit: @the_real_napster via Unsplash