Thought Piece: Caring Conversations – Part 2

The Caregiver ~

This time, we are going to take the discussion from the other side of the human relationship. The one providing the care. Caregiving can be a rewarding experience, but there is risk for high stress and fatigue given the nature of being someone’s primary provider of basic needs.

If you are a caregiver and you are finding that you’re overwhelmed, how do you have a conversation with your aging loved one? How do you introduce a service to reduce the workload and offer respite?

The questions asked will be difficult: “I am feeling burdened by _______.” The blank here could be: trips to various appointments; the financial strain of another dependent; the need for assistance with self-care. A caregiver, who can identify a specific need that could be alleviated with an outside service, will have more opportunity for respite and a reduced work-load. Rather than feeling as though they must do everything themselves, this is where supplemental help can make an impact. Here are a few things to keep in mind when having this important conversation

Four Questions that can Change the Conversation:

1. Am I coming from a place of Love and Respect for the person I am caring for?
2. What emotions are coming up for me when I am providing this care?
3. How do I feel when I put myself in their shoes?
4. Whose best interests do I have in mind?

Becoming aware of your emotions and thoughts as a caregiver in this conversation is a very important step and it is equally as important to reach out to other organizations that can help. See Part 1 in this newspaper’s February edition online. You can also find a wealth of valuable information at

Aging Well in Jefferson County is a strategic planning project focused on developing and implementing strategies to create inclusive, livable communities through sustainable partnerships and integrated services. The Caregiving & Supports Workgroup is one of six Workgroups addressing all aspects of life for aging residents in Jefferson County. For more information, contact Aging Well coordinator, Karin Stewart at 303-271-4251 or

Article written by:
Morgan Leigh Jenkins, MA, Transition Director, Maintain Me
Senior Transition and Case Management Services
and Amanda Gregg, Director of Member Growth, A Little Help