CARING FOR THE CAREGIVERS

Being a caregiver is not easy. It necessitates commitment, sacrifice, compassion and patience as the chief virtues. Whether or not one has the attributes needed to be a caregiver and whether or not one is prepared to be one, sometime across the lifespan one has to play the role of a caregiver.

You don’t have to think too deep to figure out who a caregiver is! Isn’t there a wife or a husband, a mother or a father, an aunt or an uncle, a brother or a sister who is a caregiver in each household? These are routine caregivers. And then, there are specialist caregivers – nurses/ paramedics in hospitals, people trained (either professionally or by virtue of experience) to take care of differently-abled people or terminally ill patients, nannies/ babysitters, etc.

While they provide the much-needed care for others, who takes care of them? Do we realize that the caregivers around us need to be cared for too?

Be it a routine or a specialist caregiver, s/he is also a human in need of care in ways not necessarily overtly evident. As care-receivers or simply as observers of caregivers, what are the things we can be vigilant about:

  1. Caregiver burnout – Committed caregivers have the tendency to continue to care even when they are drained out. And so, it usually escapes cognizance that the caregiver also needs a break from care-giving. A burnt-out caregiver might continue to provide care, but the efficiency gradually starts going down the hill.
  2. Caregiver anxiety – Just because a person is into the role of care-giving, doesn’t mean that s/he is a confident juggler against all odds. Just because a caregiver might wear a caring smile most of the time, doesn’t mean that she is not mentally battling with issues. A caregiver’s anxiety may be due to the care-receiver/s or purely personal.
  3. Caregiver finances (if s/he is a paid caregiver) – Though professional caregivers who are hired from Consultancies are secure about the remuneration they receive, not all have such assurances. At times, caregivers in dire need of finances offer their services for petty sums.
  4. Caregiver emotions – Caregivers are not robots. They have emotions too. Their emotions might go unspoken and unexpressed many times. At other times, their spoken and expressed emotions might go unheeded.
  5. Caregiver needs and wants – Caregivers often render sacrificial service ignoring their personal needs and wants. This is an area that requires sensitivity by significant others.

To sum it up Caregivers are In, Among, Around and One of Us. So our responsibility towards them gets all the more enhanced because at the end of the day we are only helping ourselves. Ironically our selfishness is actually our selflessness, working towards a greater cause and a token of gratitude towards our Caregivers. Let’s take a deep introspection :

  • Talking about the caregivers and their services towards the society and the country, this pandemic period has brought forth how our front line service providers – Doctors, Nurses, Sanitation Workers are risking their lives to provide care for the ailing people and help them fight the dreadful virus and reconcile with their loved ones. It’s not that we are oblivious to their services but these testing times have made us witness their courageous, selfless side. So how can we do our bit to help them win this contest against an unknown enemy? Simple, follow the hygiene and sanitation rules to the T and making sure every individual (family) continues to do the same. This simple act would make sure that the splurge of numbers in the hospitals is contained giving a breathing space to our caregivers to focus better on vaccine trials which could mean a solution to this humongous problem and not just a hide out. And aren’t we helping ourselves at the end of the day?
  • The above mentioned way has a non linear correlation between our action and the ensuing result. But there are other more linear ways of exhibiting that – “We care for our caregivers”. Own their families like our own, in the absence of the warriors (they are indeed warriors shielding us) take care of their needs (can be deep as emotional or momentary need of groceries) or at least as a helping hand and a generous word to be around. That makes a lot of difference. To know that their family is not alone in their absence goes a long way in fighting off their anxieties on one front (even superheroes have families to look after, isn’t it?). Not every help is necessarily financial. Every small and intangible gesture too matters. When caregivers are busy caring for our families, let’s be family for their families.

This is just a bird’s eye view of how we could reciprocate for the selfless service we are receiving (especially in reference to the current situation). We need to ponder harder over this.

Identifying the psychopaths, very important!!! Society isn’t free of black sheep. When the entire world clapped and lit candles in respect of the great service our caregivers are doing to the mankind there are a certain clan of people (of rotten mindset, nothing to do with any ethnicity whatsoever) who not only denied to accept the role our front liners are playing but went an extra mile to insult them. From spitting to pelting stones; from beating to demanding evacuation of their rented accommodations; from hurling personal insults to torturing their families – few sick minded people have done it all and sadly all around the world. Such people with their shallow comprehension of life bifurcated the caregivers for simple reason of their close liaison with the effected people albeit they might get infected too. Fear is justified to an extent but foolishness and cruelty can’t be. “What if that patient is from my family?”,”What if the caregiver doesn’t come forward to my aid?” – simple questions that needs to be answered individually before venting out venom. There is also a creed of people from whom life is a mere Profit & Loss statement. Their crude mentality comes across in the absurd manner they put across this statement – “so what, don’t they get salaries?, they aren’t doing any social service?” Though a slap is an appropriate answer to such gibberish talk but holding the civility together few questions to be fired at them “would you risk your life for the same amount of salary they get?”, “would you forgo your family time to shield hopes of a stranger?”

Coming back to our focal point of discussion – How to show / convey to our caregivers that we care – Act responsibly – it sums it all. Every citizen taking care of themselves reduces the undue burden on our caregivers that might arise out of our recklessness. And for rest they are there anyways!

Special mention: They might not be counted as Caregivers but the service they render can never be discounted – Police Force & Security Forces. Irrespective of the situations prevailing in the country these forces are on their toes to make sure that we are safe in our safe havens. They dare the weather, sacrifice their family time, face the bullets and lay down their lives with a sense of pride. Don’t they deserve our recognition and appreciation?

  • So what can we do to help our police personnel. Just be alert! This is the minimum how we can help them. If something antisocial is going on around us we should inform the concerned authorities in time. No tolerance of injustice is actually justice served. Even a single case less in our police stations is our way of showing our respect to our caregivers (from a different perspective) – our policemen.
  • Just like our policemen are keeping us safe internally our security forces are guarding us from external forces. What is our responsibility then – we must stop fueling hatred within the boundaries in the name of caste, religion, language. Is it too much to ask for?

An orderly stable financial support is definitely an added perk to our caregivers but what brings forth their zeal to shower their care is – A bright smile, A warm embrace, An assurance of being together and around, and A responsible behaviour, period.

 

COLLABORATIVELY WRITTEN BY RAJNANDINI SAHU AND KALPANA VOGETI

SHE HAS INFLUENCED ME

“TEAM” is always a mixed bag! Isn’t it?
Indeed, our Candles team is such a bag! We have approximately 50 odd writers from different corners of the world. Each of us is of a different personality, some of us are very jovial – some of us are very playful – some of us are extrovert yet a handful in our team are just of the opposite personality – they are reserved – introverts – talk less YET all of us love and understand each other’s differences. In this bunch of good souls, I got to know a lady who speaks less, thinks creatively, very matured and a lady of wisdom. She is also an avid webzine writer and a professionally trained Counselor. If I would ever recommend any lady to learn on Personality Development, then I would recommend her to this lady of our Candles team. I met her only once but her personality has really influenced me. Presenting before you the lady I found with inner beauty – our beloved Rajnandini Sahu😊

Among many virtues in her, let’s take our cup – How She Writes and What Does It Reflects About Her? 

“A good article not only presents values and information.

It also represents the character and the belief of the author.”

Indeed, being a reader, that’s how I always evaluate my authors ‘flipping the other side of the coin’ and critically analyzing their belief. Because in the world of endless voices and teachings on morals, ethics, and principles, at the end of the story all that we look for is reasoning and internalizing the values that we take away. In the long run, that’s what our life output will be. The deeper sense of reading is shaping of our inner man. 

Being a reader the first thing that always affirms my belief in Rajnandini’s article is – it is purely ORGANIZED and always has a Logically Constant flow of thoughtsExperimental Capability and has Relevance.

Some of her articles have truly marveled my heart and affirmed my belief in her sharing. Let’s take a couple of glimpses of hers’:

THE BRAND CALLED WOMANOn 2017 International Women’ Day week, she published this article. Often in such presentations, we take the track of Racism to race along. But Rajnandini was exceptional, she presented womanhood from God’s viewpoint and alongside didn’t dirty her hands by throwing mud at manhood. She was soulful in presenting the beauty of togetherness rather than playing the blame dice and uplifting feminism.

RECOGNITION FOR A PURPOSEWe all look for the recognition of our work but recognition becomes evident when our work is well articulated. And each of her articles is always presented with utmost clarity. Undoubtedly, she is gifted with the art of articulation. 

THE EYE – THE LAMP OF THE BODY: Often articles come with flamboyant captions but the presentation seems disjointed. It seems like the author is scrambling for thoughts. Being a reader and meticulous observer of her articles, I always found Rajnandini being keen in the logically consistent flow of her thoughts in every of her article. In the 6th paragraph of this article, she has beautifully canvased Eye as the Lamp and how evident it is to believe.

APOLOGISE, IF YOU HAVE ERREDI always believe reading to a reader is exactly like looking at a mirror. We look at the mirror to bring perfection to our face, so is the true reading. As the reader reads, he realizes his flaws in life and internalizes the alterations. Being a reader, I found that in this article of hers.

In the world filled with so much of imperfections, how can someone pen with fineness?

Well, the 19th century American Author, Madam Helen Keler said,

“Unless we form the habit of going to the Bible in bright moments

as well as in trouble, we cannot fully respond to its consolations

because we lack equilibrium between light and darkness”.

Almost all of Rajnandini’s articles are finely tuned to the Biblical values. I am quite sure that’s what makes her words evident to the reader’s life, as she formed the habit of going to the Bible at all times.

It reminds me of the Bible verses,

The Word of God is like a mirror that shows how duplicitous our life is!

It is indeed the lamp to our feet and light to our path to a life with perfection

(Dedicated to @sizzlybizzly)

A SMALL SEED SOWED CAN ALSO PROVIDE COOL SHADE TO THE WEARY PEDESTRIANS

(Click the image to read the original post)

September 16, 2016, was the day when this lady commented on Candles Online for the first time as a reader of this blog. Her younger sister, Prabhjot asked me to encourage her to join Candles Online and this comment gave me the opportunity to initiate my conversation with her.

FOUR days later on September 20, 2016, I got the opportunity and I would like to leak a few things about the initial conversations that we had the very first time. I hope that won’t upset her.

All she had about herself was negative – “I am not as talented as my younger sister…”, “I am more of the laidback sister…”, “Let’s hope I can put up a decent article”.

But I am a person who never leaves people in negativity. I kept on pushing her and motivating her till she wrote her first article on Candles Online – “LET’S TWEAK OUR CUSTOM A BIT“. That day she actually tweaked her own custom of being a non-writer and became a writer, unknown of that very fact herself.

I would like to confess that her first article of 281 words which I thought of inflating it a bit by adding few more words before publishing made me think about my selection a bit at that moment, though I usually don’t lose hope on someone. But guess what? Kuljeet Saini became the most loved writer on Candles Online who left everyone with a thought to ponder upon starting from her second article on Candles Online – “DRESSED TO KILL“. That was a hilarious yet very powerful article. She got 11 votes on that particular article. Usually, votes are from anonymous readers so 11 is a very good number. That day again I patted myself again with a smile and in my heart, I thanked Prabhjot for bringing her sister in.

The article which stamped Kuljeet as my ace writer (though I don’t rate or rank my co-writers in any manner) was – “MY AFFAIR WITH THE GREEN EYED MONSTER“. She never looked back again. Her articles never lacked feedbacks. She was highly appreciated for her write-ups which were from the first-hand experience, written wholeheartedly and absolutely relatable.

Another special skill of Kiljeet which really makes her my favourite is her ability to give very catchy Titles to her all the articles. It was only on one occasion I had to give a title to her article otherwise she herself does that every time.

As a person, she is an adorable character with a pleasing personality. She is very warm and cheerful. I am sure whenever she speaks she brings a joyful vibe to the other person as she does to me whenever I speak with her over the phone. In our group, she is lovingly called as – Killjeet instead of Kuljeet. As a writer, she reflects her true self in her articles and never shies away to confess her own weaknesses. That’s one quality which I love about her so much. She is always open to healthy discussions about life and God.

Now, I remembered our initial conversation once again as I am concluding this article… She said – “I was not as talented as my younger sister“. I have a smile on my face now as I realized – She was right that day. She isn’t talented like her sister. But her talent was different and very special than everyone else. Her beginning as a writer was delayed and small yet her write-ups provide comfort as cool tree-shade for weary pedestrians. She is an asset for Candles Online.

In closing, I am happy to have her in my team, may God Bless her and let her write more such fabulous articles till the end.

(Dedicated to @kuljeetsaini )