Did you know that in Finland there are over million people whom help and support their close ones just for the greater good? There are 350 000 caregivers whom belong to the system and about 60 000 of them are in binding situation with the person in need. Furthermore, only 44 000 receive support from the society. (Omaishoitajaliitto) These numbers were very surprising to me but as I continued the search why these numbers are so high especially regarding those whom don’t receive any support from the municipality- the answer was surprising.
The answer is that the carers don’t knowledge them as caregivers. Besides that, the carer doesn’t knowledge themselves as caregivers, there are people who don’t understand that they can get help and support. Sound’s disturbing that one feels the need to care for someone without knowing about the services which would support the situation they live in.
Who is this caregiver then? “Omaishoitajaliitto describes this person as someone who takes care of family member or other close one, whom can’t take care of themselves and manage on their own in daily bases due to illness, disability or other needs. “
Usually when the word caregiver pops up one automatically thinks of a person helping an elderly person, at least I did before. My view changed after one of my relative became a caregiver to a child and when my friend took the position as caregiver to her close one. Sometimes the situations happen all the sudden, without knowing or in time that a person has time to get use to the idea of his/her new position at home. In which position would you want to be if this happened to you? Note that the situations behind caregivers aren’t always thru dramatic accidents or sever illness. The situations where caregivers are needed might form out in time as well. (Omaishoitajaliitto)
As I read about true stories from caregivers life in Omaishoitajaliitto web page I noticed that most of the carers are battling with same thoughts. “Is my own life over now”, “Am I allowed to receive these benefits, my close one just has diabetes”, “What if something happens to me who will take care of my spouse”! The worries that caregivers battle with, are very unpleasant to read. They are in a situation which, yes they may decline from, but still though job to do without second guessing and worrying.
This topic speaks to me very much, because for one short, never ending week for me, I had a chance to step into caregivers shoe’s and experience their life. And what a week it was! It felt and it was as if the day never ended. The worry of the person sleeping next to you keeps you awake and the next day’s happenings. I raise my hat to the people out there whom take care of someone so that the person in need can stay at home in their own environment. What if you stepped into someone else’s shoes for once!