Last month we looked at self-empowerment and how to advocate for yourself, as a patient, and help your community members to do the same for themselves. This month we’re going to look at another type of advocating that has a whole different set of challenges, rules, and definitions of success: advocating for others.
Caregivers are a unique set of Health Activists who use their detective work, self-education, question-asking, and awareness-raising skills to advocate for the health of loved ones. These Health Activists dedicate their time to caring for a diverse list of people they love: be it their children, family members, parents, significant others, or close friends. Some Health Activist carers advocate for more than one person, keeping their whole family’s health in check. All caregivers work tirelessly (and, sometimes it truly is work – and not easy) to improve the lives of those they care for who may be living with chronic health conditions. They all have different stories to tell, but like patient Health Activists, they offer honest and powerful approaches, and are an inspiring bunch whose voices need to be heard by the greater healthcare community.
Whether you’re a parent who cares for a child with a chronic health condition or care for your spouse or another relative – you have a special set of skills that should be understood, celebrated, and shared. So let’s do that this month. Are you a blogger who writes about caring for your kids? Are you a tweeter who shares resources with fellow caregivers? How has your journey from individual knowledge-seeker translated into caregiver? What challenges do you face as someone who advocates for others? What have you learned along the way that surprised you? What support do you need when things get tough? How do you find it? Do you advocate for yourself as a caregiver?
We hope you’ll join us in reaching out and supporting all the many types of Health Activist carers this month and connect across conditions to learn from each other. Here on the blog we’ll be collecting resources, sharing stories, and highlighting some of the amazing carers in our online community.