Welcome to Joyous Paradox, my blog about health, healing and caregiving for elders, their family members, and their paid and volunteer care partners. I’ve been thinking about the arduous, intimate work of bedside caregiving since I began caring for elderly clients in 2006. When I took the standard course for nurses’ aides that summer, I was between jobs. The peak of my nonprofit career, a three-year stint as executive director of the NH Women’s Lobby, was fading into the past. I’d trained as a hospice volunteer and wanted to do more.
Now I work for a home care agency in Concord, MA, providing non-medical personal care and homemaking for elders. My colleagues and I emphasize wellness, supporting our clients in activities that bring them joy and satisfaction. We use 21st-century technologies, notably smartphones and a secure, web-based reporting system, for record-keeping and to maintain communication with client families.
“Why call your blog ‘Joyous Paradox’?” you might ask. I have found that often, in order to heal, we have to get closer to our own pain. The paradox of healing is that in becoming more vulnerable, in revealing to ourselves and to another person the precise nature of our suffering, we gain the power that comes with seeking and accepting help.
Note: The ideas and opinions expressed in this blog are my own, and do not reflect those of my employer or any other organization.