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Caregiver Contest Grand Prize Winner Byron: Empower Their Mind

Brooke Phillips, CWCMS
Editor | Shield HealthCare
03/08/18  1:30 PM PST
Caregiver Contest Grand Prize Winner Byron

Shield HealthCare 2017 Caregiver Contest Grand Prize Winner | Byron J.

Byron’s home is in California. He was a caregiver for his parents for four years and is currently a patient receiving care himself [Byron asked us to mention that he is a Shield HealthCare stoma patient]. He has two dogs (pictured) and loves to travel. After receiving the email informing him of his win, Byron wrote, “Thank you for validating my journey as a caretaker for my parents and for me!!”

What advice would you give a fellow caregiver?

Empower my patient by allowing them to function as much as possible on living their life within their capabilities. For example, instead of cooking their favorite meal, pull them into the kitchen to help make the meal. Give them choices to make rather than just doing it for them.

Rather than telling them what to do, give them choices like, “Hey, your appointment is at 10. If you would like to join me for breakfast beforehand, be ready by 8, otherwise I’ll be back at 9:30.”

By empowering them to continually participate in everyday life decisions, it not only insures they engage with their own life decisions, it boosts their feeling of some semblance of control rather than being waited on hand and foot.

Empowering them to talk about how they’re feeling is much more invaluable than barking out observations and worries (e.g., “What’s wrong, this is not normal, I’m calling the doctor”).

For traumatic illnesses, helping them to re-empower themselves has much more healing potential than just doing every single thing for them.

Empowerment is crucial to the patient’s psyche and self-esteem.
Empower their mind!

Click here to return to the contest home page and read more winners’ advice.


Winners were selected by a panel of independent judges, including: Sandra Mitchell, Award-winning KCAL 9 news anchor and breast cancer survivor, and the Landers family: actor and comedian David Landers (“Laverne & Shirley”) who is living with MS, his wife Kathy and his daughter Natalie (“The Middle”). Click here to learn more.