Caring for Others: When the Little Things Become Everything

By Elizabeth Downing | Caring For Others

Nov 08

What are the things that matter most to you? Sure, sometimes it’s the trip to Disney World or the huge surprise anniversary party, but just as often the things that matter most can seem insignificant in the moment. Caregiving is filled with little things, and on the days when frustration can overwhelm, those snapshots of connection make all the difference in pushing forward.

 Seeing the look on someone’s face when you appear with a clock. Seems strange, right? But if that gentleman has been growing increasingly anxious because he has no way of knowing what day or time it is, that clock is more than a little thing. It is everything. 

Drying the tears of a sweet lady who misplaced her checkbook. What’s the big deal? If that sweet lady can be reassured we all misplace things, and this particular mishap doesn’t mean she’s going to have to move from her home, drying those tears is more than a little thing. It is everything.

Taking a spitfire of an octogenarian out for a walk. Simple enough. When the sunshine and the exercise and the company make her happier than anything else that’s happened that day, that walk is more than a little thing. It is everything.

Listening to the story of how a lovely couple met and fell in love. Listening isn’t so huge, or is it? Our stories are what make us who we are – they are our history. If listening to those stories once, or one hundred times, brings a sense of peace and comfort to that couple, listening is more than a little thing. It is everything.

Caregiving isn’t easy. But, focusing on the little things? Well, it is everything.

About the Author

Elizabeth Downing is Care Coordinator for Timesavers Concierge, Caregiving & Chauffeur in Bowling Green and Owensboro, Kentucky. A 1982 graduate of WKU, Elizabeth found her passion in advocating and providing care for older adults and those beginning to navigate life’s transitions. Timesavers seeks to raise awareness of issues relating to aging and caring for aging loved ones, and to let people know they are not alone in the journey, while working to provide the highest quality day to day care available. Elizabeth is an Aging Life Care™ Professional; a Positive Approach to Care™ Certified Independent Consultant; and has completed a Certificate in Care Management from Boston University. She facilitates a family caregiver support group each month.