The New Culture of Caregiving

Speaking as a Caregiver’s Coach and also as a TurningPoints Coach with a focus on mid-life, I see major shifts afoot in the way caregivers are Being in their role, and in the way they are Doing their caregiving within the context of life as a whole.

The whole topic of caregiving is blooming, bursting wide open with new perspectives on what it is and what it can be. More people are talking about it, a healthy first step, and they way they’re talking about it is evolving. The topic is now more positive, more rich with possibilities than it was even five years ago. Some of us are thinking about it as a personal journey where we meet ourselves, as a way to heal past relationships, and as an opportunity to develop powerful new coping skills that we take with us into the rest of our lives.

We are Doing it differently. The Baby Boomers (age 47-64) are the caregivers of today–we bring to it all of our Boomer characteristics: candor, self-reflection, resourcefulness, consumerism, and a commitment to personal growth. This style of approaching living, when brought into the culture of aging set by our parents, brings a breath of fresh air and many changes to the face of aging. We are, as we speak, redefining aging (see www.ChangingAging.org), and redesigning long-term care to fit our vision (see www.EdenAlt.org). We’re learning how to balance our lives, how to ask for help, and how to take care of ourselves. These are exciting times, though perhaps it’s harder to think about that way if we are embroiled on the roller-coaster ride of caregiving.