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 th...
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...medies are invented, but fundamental aspects of caregiving as a whole remains the same.
Caregiving is an unparalleled experience. The elements involved in caregiving are endless. The experiences, time period, and stories may change but the spiritual, emotional, and instrumental factors are always present. If you analyze all of these parts, one’s view of caregiving will transform. All of the little pieces involved give you a significantly greater appreciation for the role. The relationships involved are unlike any other. Everyone should have the opportunity to be a caregiver because the experience can change one’s life.
Abel, Emily K. Hearts Of Wisdom : American Women Caring For Kin, 1850-1940. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2000. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 26 Feb. 2014.
Waguespack, Marjorie. Telephone Interview. 22 Feb. 2014.
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