Doing things, myself
When we are well and able, doing things myself is the norm. No one would question why we need help carrying a bag, getting upstairs, moving about.
When we are with unwell, frail or vulnerable people, our instinct is to help, to carry the bag, provide an arm to help them move or get upstairs.
These acts of kindness make the person offering it feel good. But how does the person receiving this kindness feel?
It’s a dilemma summed up by an 88-year-old friend.
“I’m grateful for the help, yet I resent needing the help, the reminder that I am the old and frail one now. I couldn’t manage without it, but really in my heart of hearts I don’t want to have to need it. It’s no fun getting old.”
It is difficult to acknowledge the need for help at any age and in any circumstance. We want to keep doing things ourselves, keep independent, keep control.
Keeping control of what we do
Care We Share enables us to keep control, even when we cannot keep ‘doing things myself’. We can decide what help we want, when we want it and who to ask. And the help doesn’t just have to be the chores. Using the social group on Care We Share helps us to arrange the pleasures in life, coffee with friends, a night out, a phone or skype call when we are lonely.
The Care Wall on Care We Share enables me to let my groups know how we are feeling, what is going on with our lives and circumstances without having to make many individual calls and risk forgetting someone on the list.
Care We Share promotes the community support we want to feel still part of our world, that keeps us engaged with friends and family. It removes the well-meaning yet misguided support that may make the giver feel good but can disempower and patronise.