Re-imaging our Care Work

There are only four kinds of people in the world

“There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.”

~Roslyn Carter

Although we care for others or are cared for by others at different levels throughout the arc of life; at both poles of life, we are more vulnerable and dependent upon care.

Dr. Bill Thomas, an international authority on geriatrics, talks of embracing elderhood as a transformational developmental stage of life. Just as early childhood is unique, with specific challenges, joys, and perspectives, so is adulthood, and so is elderhood. Entering elderhood extends a possibility to shift into a new way of being human.

At both poles of life care is amplified. At both poles of life, humans are whole and complete – both children and elders offer us unique insights, unparalleled wisdom, and an invitation to live a creative life; to notice what matters, and to live in the now.

Let’s reimagine our care practices. By looking at care at both poles of life and by placing care in the context of the self-actualizing journey of human development—we realize the purpose of our work in caring for another is to nurture growth.

Care is a partnership that moves the other towards becoming more. Care offers independence, not helplessness. Care offers strength, not weakness. Care offers a connection, not isolation.

Let us rescue care from the confines of the undervalued, unappreciated realms where it has hidden We can be blazing defenders of care. We can shine a light for the advancement of a great society. Let’s be a part of the care revolution!


About the author 

Jean Garboden, Marketing and Innovation Leader for Compass Senior Living is  in her 70’s and is experiencing newfound joy in aging. She is working passionately to lift up care and to care for the caregivers. She is redefining elderhood. We are in the midst of re-imagining what it means to grow old. She has no plans to “hand over the torch” but is now claiming her role as a wise experienced leader who can now let her torch shine brighter and bolder than ever, while she lights the torch of others and exerts ongoing unique influence at the crescendo of her life. https://www.compass-living.com/ 

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