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The Life Changing Experience Of Caregiving

1374 words - 6 pages

The Life Changing Experience of Caregiving
My interpretation of caregiving and the extensive role a caregiver plays transformed while reading Emily Abel’s novel, Hearts of Wisdom. When interviewing my grandmother, Marjorie Waguespack, her personal experiences reinforced many of the vital factors Abel believes are involved in caregiving. Caregiving includes major rewarding aspects from varying standpoints. Emily Abel wholeheartedly believes, “the three major components of care—instrumental, spiritual, and emotional—sometimes conferred significant rewards” (60). Caring for an individual can be difficult and may require substantial sacrifice, but oftentimes the benefits outweigh the costs. With these components, an extensive network of people is required to acquire knowledge and provide support. The relationships that form play an indispensable role in taking care of an individual. Caregiving has the power to change lives.
While listening to numerous stories during the interview with my grandmother, many key factors were repeated. For example, the bond between the caregiver and person being cared for was not always a close connection. Mrs. Waguespack’s caregivers were oftentimes her mother or a neighbor who was a registered nurse; if situations became critical, doctors were readily available. The doctor to patient relationship was different between that of a caregiver or lay healer. Mrs. Waguespack always dealt with the doctor in a formal manner. The respect level was consistent in both relationships, but the communication with the doctor was executed in a more formal manner. Even though the relationships were unique, there was a strong trust factor involved in both types of associations because the caregiver holds the reins of the situation. They are in charge and in complete control of that person’s life. When my grandmother gave birth to her four children, she delivered them in a local doctors office. You could hear the gratitude in her voice when she said, “[T]he doctor saw patients if the delivery was during working hours when the office was open. I was extremely lucky to be able to give birth during these times.” Contrary to my grandmother’s time, Abel disclosed that a physician was only summoned after all home remedies were exhausted. If a physician was called, death was inevitable (42). My grandmother wholeheartedly disagrees with Abel’s ideas. She trusted her doctor literally with her life. Emily Abel emphasizes that doctors proved to remain unreliable and costly. She illustrates the difficulties of summoning a physician; “transportation difficulties not only delayed doctors’ arrivals but also prevented them from providing continuing care” (41). My grandmother lived in a different kind of situation. The town she resided in consisted of almost all relatives; where as in Abel’s stories, the doctor most likely would be required to travel long distances to provide care. Transportation served as a significant challenge that prevented care...

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