My long term client Miss Trish told me this once, early in my days of caring for her. I took these words to heart as the foundation of the type of person and caregiver I want to become.
(And yes of course it makes me think of this quote from Kathleen Kelly, “Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.”)
For me, it’s mostly a reminder to slow down, already. Sometimes there is a lot to get done (errands, laundry, cooking, cleaning, getting them through their daily routine) but it’s not worthwhile if my dear elderly person doesn’t feel cared for, loved, and invested in that day. Maybe it will take patience. Maybe it will be a little uncomfortable. It’s worth it though.
When you meet an others-first, caring, *personal* sort of individual, you know it right away. You feel awesome, valued and important just from being around them. I’ve been privileged to know and work with several other caregivers in particular who are absolutely like this and my recurring wish is “I want to grow up to be just like you!” 🙂 I’m working on it!