ITN–Icebreakers

Imagine you are a caregiver. Your time is divided between things you know you should do, things you have to do, and emergencies. Maybe there’s no time for the things you want to do. You should get help…but where?

What if you were introduced to another person who is in a position similar to your own? Sure, the specifics are different but finding out life thrust you into a radical curve and enveloped you in a caregiving role is something that we typically don’t prepare for. Now what if this other person reached the same conclusion: "You need to get support…but where?"

Is it possible the two of you would consent to meet? Hey you’ve got to eat sometime. How about meeting for a lunch or dinner break in a neutral not-too-noisy restaurant? Perhaps you could convene for an hour on a Saturday morning at the library or in a breakfast shop. The point is it won’t hurt you to take a break and try to share your burdens once in a while. You are the caregiver for a loved one. Do it in their names. But you must be willing to listen.

Assume the contact information was forwarded, emails or phone calls exchanged, date, time, and place arranged, temporary caregiving assignments for the loved ones provided, and the moment has arrived. Could it be your social skills are rusty? Nonexistent even? Not to worry. Be prepared to seek solidarity.

Don’t feel pressured or expose too much at once. Do some homework now. Open the ****Quick Start Menu***** and select a category of interest. Read some of the entries. Print one or two that resonate with you and bring these to the meeting. You can relax and enjoy your meal. Then at an appropriate break reflect on the awareness.

Acknowledgment that "we are not alone" can be a good thing. Perhaps you can lean on each other for support a little while in this one instance until a better option can be achieved.

If you know a caregiver who needs support, perhaps he would find comfort in reading this article.

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