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Live As If You Were To Die Tomorrow
by Gail R. Mitchell

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever," is a famous quote by Gandhi. It is a wonderful reminder of how we all need all to be living our lives more fully. As caregivers, you may find yourself coming from the victim space. You may dwell on why your sibling can't help you more or offer more support. You may think why do I have to take care of my parent, spouse or child; you may feel as if you have given up your life. You may constantly ask yourself "Why me?" And in the midst of your role as a caregiver, you may also feel as though the whole world revolves around you and your needs. Well, the truth is that these are all valid thoughts, emotions and needs that caregivers go through.

You will be happy to know that more and more web sites are cropping up to assist caregivers. More and more people are working in advocacy for caregiver rights, needs and assistance, financially as well as emotionally. As the boomer generation is confronted with the issues of caregiving, more and more documentaries, films, magazines and books are waking up to these important issues. Never before has caregiving been recognized as it has been in this day and age. Hopefully we will start seeing major changes within the next few years.

While I was not present at the (ASA) American Society On Aging conference this past weekend I have spoken with many who attended. The focus was definitely on caregiving, with many of the large financially backed web sites promoting themselves.

In speaking with author Beth Witrogen McLeod, one thing was obvious to her and that was the caregiver's need for emotional and spiritual support. This opened my heart greatly, as I strive to inform all of you with tools to empower yourselves. My concern is that you learn how to open yourself to shift and change in hopes that you will create more meaningful experiences in your role as a caregiver to a loved one, thus enhancing the quality of your life as well as theirs'.

In speaking with Dorothy Womack, today, we were discussing the need for family caregivers to also open themselves to understanding the spirit within those we care for, especially those with Alzheimer's Disease. In truth it relates to everyone no matter what the disease, the illness or disability. Inside the individual is still a soul that is alive and thriving. Their souls need to be acknowledged, nurtured and cared for.

Unfortunately in the daily routines encountered as a carer, you may sometimes lose site of this. This is another valuable tool that you must learn to tune into in order to provide the best care that you can. There are so many distractions in your lives that keep you from focusing on this most important issue. This is perhaps one of the biggest lessons that you will learn as a caregiver. The role of a caregiver just intensifies this issue. In truth, it is something that everyone must go through, if they expect to have a life experience filled with meaning, purpose, joy, love, peace, and prosperity.

The most difficult words to hear from a loved one in their final days is "If I only had more time, I could have, should have, would have, done more." When it is your "time" what will you have to say about the way you lived your life?

It is with this in mind, that we continue to provide you with the informative articles which will open you to the infinite possibilities in living life more fully for both your loved one and yourself.

Richest Blessings on your journey.

About the Author:
Gail R. Mitchell is the creator of the Empowering Caregivers Site at http://www.care-givers.com. She is also the spokeswoman for the Caregivers Area at the Boomer's International site. She has consulted for other caregiving sites. Her articles have been published in the National caregiving magazine "Today's Caregiver" here in the United States and in Canada's National caregiving magazine, "CANGO QRTLY." She also contributes to many other caregiving sites on the Internet. Currently Gail is currently seeking funding for her major vision on a "Universal" Caregiving Project for the Internet.

Last updated August 1, 2000

 © Copyrighted Gail R. Mitchell April 2000. Used with permission of the author.
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