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Villager News > Family CareGiving is “More Than a Notion”

“Lifting As We Climb”

The issues of caring for aging relatives can become challenges that often seem insurmountable. Yes, there are many articles, talk shows, research, how- to manuals that speak to these situations. Yet the more I talk to persons who are actually in the situation, it all seems more complicated than the information most often provided to them. For example see: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/caregivers/in-depth/caring-for-the-elderly/art-20048403 In The Village Projects we believe that “Lifting as we Climb” is important in families, communities, neighborhoods, etc. We all need to be lifted up! When we announced several weeks ago that Val Thomas was selected as a 2019 Villager Awards Recipient in recognition of her years of being the caregiver to her elderly father and his twin sister for almost a decade, we received hundreds of inquiries from persons who wanted to just talk to someone. Val’s story is multi-faceted - giving up a career, learning how to maneuver through a healthcare system, pulling other family members/friends/colleagues/church members etc into a caregiving support Village posture, learning how to deal with resistance to care, ...And finding time for herself. Many persons at various stages of involvement with elderly family members sent comments and questions. Some expressed feeling that they weren’t doing enough. Others felt they were doing too much. Some felt mistreated and unappreciated. Very few expressed sheer joy at having the opportunity to care for their elderly relative who was resisting needed help, etc. We soon learned that Val’s story resonated with more people than we knew. Then we began to get questions from health care organizations. The need for a village of support for persons caring from an elderly relative is rising beyond academic discussions. It’s more than a notion! Who’s in your village? “Lifting as we Climb!”

  "Our solutions are bigger than any one profession or job. We must reclaim our interconnections and learn to freely share information with each other, and to support the success of a new generation. We must create connections and collaborations. Our goal must be to move this system in the direction of caring what happens to persons who need it the most, and we must take our place in that effort. We will find a way to make a difference!"

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