Let’s start this week’s post by recapping where we’re at in the COMPLETE SUPPORT “Manifesto” I believe all caregivers of aging parents are entitled to.
We’ve already covered from the COMPLETE acronym the qualities of: Caring; Openness; Maturity; Partnership; Loyalty; Excellence. We’re dealing today with “T” standing for Tribe. Next week we’ll address Exacting – as in, demonstrating impeccable standards of precision.
How Do We Define TRIBE Here?
The Oxford Reference Dictionary defines tribe as “a group of families or communities with common linkages”. For our caregiving purposes, I boil down the term to mean “your kind of people”. The team that surrounds you (i.e., in-home agencies or assisted living, doctors, other professionals) is a solid match to your elders’ needs and temperament. If a representative does not entirely know or understand your background, they take the time to find out.
Who Is Not Part of Your TRIBE?
Indeed, differences in experiences are viewed as an opportunity to bring fresh approaches and insights by positive care providers. Conversely, negative agencies simply view you as a ‘problem’ if you don’t fit their narrow box. When you’re explaining what’s important to you or your aging parents, they fail to ‘see’ or ‘get’ you because they don’t care to. What you say often goes over their head. That’s when you know it’s time to move on.
Questions for Reflection
Now that you’ve read the above definitions, here are some considerations to help further define the TRIBE you choose to be surrounded by:
- If you feel a particular representative is not a solid match, how far are you prepared to go to ensure they get replaced?
- What advantages and/or disadvantages do differences in background or experience between you and your service provider offer?
- How would you recognize the “tipping point” between similarities and differences (i.e., differences have become a disadvantage versus a source of inspiration)?
For me, even a peripheral TRIBE member can sometimes be instantly recognizable. Such was the case with a recent TV ad where a healthcare provider was bulldozing a path through a thick maze to help clients seeking their services. Excellent! My kind of outfit!
Marathon and maze are two of my favorite images to describe how grueling it is for weary Sandwich Generation members to make it out the other of caregiving with their health, work, relationships and sanity intact. To get started right away on the COMPLETE SUPPORT you deserve, please access my complimentary Readiness Session at https://www.copingwithuncopeableparents.com/coaching/