I know I tend to harp on the fact that everyone in the relationship network is going to experience illness, aging, dying some-way, some-how, some-when. I feel compelled because I often hear people say “if I die.” Not “if I die of this disease.” Not if I die tomorrow” but “If I die.”
I will make it simple. You. Will. Die.
Now that I’ve got that off my chest I want to talk about evaluations and skill sets.
Working as a project manager in both for-profits and non-profits I came to appreciate how crucial it was to evaluate the project upon completion. For example?
What didn’t work so well?
What didn’t work at all?
How are people feeling?
What did we learn that we can take into the next situation?
What additional skills, materials, tools do we need for the next time.
Whether it’s business or knitting or making bread, one assumes that the first few times will be rocky but that with time and practice one’s skills (and the product) will improve.
Caregiving is a business and a craft. It is also a team sport---the opposing team members being pain, loneliness, physical want, despair. Any team sport requires a certain amount of physical coordination, skill, focus and the ability to be on a team. There is also love of the business, craft, sport driving us to improve.
I know from my work how wonderful it is to be on caregiving teams---family, friends, neighbors, strangers who become friends. I have worked with the some of the same people over and over in different roles, different groups, different situations. I can see how I’ve grown in skill and sensitivity.
Typically hospice offers bereavement counseling to families, but what about evaluation counseling so they can be better prepared, more skilled for the next time?