The Dance of Caregiving

All Home Care Matters is honored to welcome Dr. Edward Smink the author of The Soul of Caregiving, A Caregiver’s Guide to Healing and Transformation to share with our viewers and listeners the tips and support that will help caregivers as they embark on their caregiving.

This will be the first installment of a special 3-part Series with Dr. Smink.

Part 1 is titled The Dance of Caregiving: Acknowledging I am not Invisible.

Dr. Smink address what Dr. Michael Kearney calls Soul Pain which is one’s interior conscience or soul screaming out for attention. He expands the definition of caregiving. “Who are the caregivers?” Smink asks. “We all are for at the heart of being human is the capacity to reach out to others and explore the relationships we build.” The strengths and pitfalls of caregiving from an archetypal perspective are highlighted to enhance the caregiver to access these strengths for recovery and healing.

Caregivers are notorious for not developing skills of Self-Care. Their struggle is usually intensified by cultural mores emerging from a larger cultural myth of being invincible, that is they think they can solve their issues by themselves. This emirates from early 19th century Horacio Alger that captures the pioneer spirit of our culture. As long as we work hard, we will succeed. Unfortunately this adage while noteworthy in itself does not work in overcoming the symptoms of compassion fatigue and burnout.

Addressing individual and cultural resistances head-on leads to developing compassion resilience and recovery. Dr. Smink knows, he suffered from acute burnout over 30 years ago and his mission is to offer hope to caregivers seeking help. He now offers the wisdom of over forty years’ experiences as a registered nurse, chaplain and pastoral counselor, and executive leader of mission, vision, and value formation, ethics consultation across the spectrum of healthcare, end of life care, spirituality, and community health.