Caring and kindness can occur on many different levels, from the individual to the whole of humanity. Sometimes we're angered by the lack of caring in others and are discouraged by our inability to change hateful attitudes and behaviors. When that happens, we struggle to find meaning in the human experience.
At these times, it's important to look close to home, to seek examples of caring and kindness that make a difference in the lives of our loved ones and our community... in those places where how we treat others matters most.
On Friday, I co-facilitated a five-member family caregiver panel at the Aging Well Conference at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Caregiving situations varied widely: a son, a granddaughter, a mother, a daughter/grandmother, a spousal partner. Despite the differences, the room-packed audience repeatedly heard examples of these truths about caring and kindness. Caring is love. Caring gives life meaning. Caring well for others also means caring for self.
On Friday and Saturday, I was privileged to learn from Loretta Veney, as an audience member and one-on-one, on the meaning for caring for a loved one with dementia. If you were not able to attend either of her presentations (at UW-Parkside or at Waukegan Park Place), here's a summary of the lessons that Loretta shared:
Finally, this is also a week for celebrating community caring and kindness in recognition of the local businesses, organizations, and dedicated individuals who made Saturday's event a huge success by donating space, financial support, caregiver resources, food, raffle gifts, and/or their time. We thank them for their generosity... and, if you think caring and kindness is important, we hope that you will make a point of thanking them too!
Click here to visit our "Thank You" page and learn more about these fabulous community members.