Being a Caregiver to a loved one facing a terminal illness or chronic condition is not easy.
There are everyday challenges of a whole new life, visits to the doctor, the struggles of discovering that your dear one is ill and the challenge of keeping up the spirits for the patient and sometimes for the rest of the family. While the medical condition is traumatic for the affected, it is also traumatic for the caregiver and the rest of the family. Suddenly, the life of the caregiver is taken over by a new set of chores, things to do etc. that their social lives are affected.
Often the new situation is so overwhelming and consuming that the caregiver simply goes about doing their best without really paying attention to themselves, their fatigue and their need to express their emotions. Emotions like anger and pain at the situation, sometimes guilt of not looking after the patient as well as they wished to, guilt of thinking about themselves, loss of one’s life as one had hoped it to be, frustration…. and so on. Given the social context in India, most caregivers feel such emotions have no place and while they are never expressed, they keep building up and often distance the caregiver to the extent of sometimes numbing them.
Typical support systems like family and friends do not necessarily understand the caregiver and their circumstances. It is, therefore, essential that the caregivers have an emotional network, a support group of people who have similar challenges, who have been in similar situations, who can offer understanding, a listening ear, a shoulder to rest on and perhaps even advice.
Caregiver Saathi is the companion for the Caregiver.
Caregiver Saathi is an endeavour to acknowledge and support Caregivers of patients with terminal illness or chronic conditions, so that together we can improve the quality of their lives, their well-being and those that they care for.
Saathi is Hindi for “companion” and we believe caregivers of terminally ill patients need a friend who understands, supports and is there for them as they walk along the difficult path of supporting their loved ones.
There are many ways in which a caregiver is challenged and often the caregiver also needs care, emotional support, understanding, easy access to information, guidance from experts and wisdom from others who have similar experiences. It is our endeavour to bring it all together and make it easy access for the caregiver.