Those of us in the home healthcare business have the opportunity to witness and share amazing stories of families in need each and every day. These stories come from the connections and meaningful moments between care providers and those they care for.

By allowing an agency caregiver into a home in crisis, family members are often able to learn new caregiving methods and skills. But as hired caregivers become part of the family, they in turn have the opportunity to learn from their clients — how to live, and sometimes, how to love.

Home healthcare supervisors and schedulers working behind the scenes enable these situations to become daily experiences. Hearing about the successes, the accomplishments, the new diagnosis and the struggles our families go through allows us to share in these moments, giving the professional caregiver the gift of experience and emotional growth.

Watching others go through life-changing events becomes an event in our own lives. By listening and understanding, we can share in these deep moments of  exchange.

Providing care to families and their loved ones also enables us to acknowledge the gift of giving of ourselves. We are frequently filled with concerns about our families:

Will she survive this bout of pneumonia?
How will he make it home after his hip surgery?
Is she getting enough to eat?
How can we make a difference?

Some caregivers break down and cry when a client must move into another situation that may be more suitable for their care needs.

“My best self comes out when I realize how everything from subtle influences to helping educate family members can end up saving their lives in some way,” said Margie Esprecion, RN. “Catching the signs and symptoms of an illness, or convincing a 90-year-old to visit their doctor, or noticing the need for an emergency intervention makes me feel like I made a difference.”

We have seen caregivers recognized by family members and clients as angels. The gratitude shown by the family encourages caregivers to keep learning and providing the best care they are capable of. They write words of appreciation — “compassionate, thoughtful, considerate, intuitive, attentive, comforting, respectful” — bringing us joy and satisfaction, recognizing our efforts, and supporting and encouraging the client-caregiver relationship, and acknowledging our purpose:

To provide nurturing moments for the one who cares and the one who needs the care.

Sometimes we must just pause and appreciate everyone who has taught us how to become better human beings.

This is the gift of caring for others.

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AGING IN HAWAII EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH PROGRAM by Attention Plus Care — a program providing resources for seniors and their families, covering different aging topics each month. For class information and upcoming topics, call 808-440-9356.