Grief, loss, and caregiving: A Discussion with Stephanie Erickson and Dr. Eboni Green

 

Stephanie Erickson- Author of the book Plan for Aging Well

I’m Stephanie Erickson. I’m the author of the book Plan for Aging Well and a caregiving expert and a clinical social worker. Today, though, we’re not talking about fun, happy things, which actually social workers don’t do. Often talk about fun, happy things. We tend to be in the thick of the problems.

Grief in the Context of Caregiving 

Today we’re going to be talking about grief in the context of caregiving. A lot of us are experiencing grief and loss with the pandemic. And for me, what I want to really talk about today is that grief is not just death. I think that’s what people associate is grieving. I’m grieving because somebody died. But it’s not just that we experience losses all the time throughout our life, starting from little tiny kids. When our parents take this pacifier away from us, that’s a loss, right? So right away from an early age, we begin to experience loss and develop coping skills and watch our families around us and how they cope with loss. That kind of builds our reserves or not and how we cope with losses throughout our life. But, caregivers have a very unique experience of loss because it’s not just about your everyday losses. They’re typically in a situation where someone has some type of loss of autonomy and perhaps or even dying, or they’re having neurocognitive disorder like dementia. And so then there’s those losses. It’s kind of like this repeated theme within their life of losses.

Dr. Eboni Green- Co-Founder Caregiver Support Services 

I brought here Dr. Eboni Green, and she is an expert in caregiving. I’ll tell you just a brief bit about her. She’s actually nurse in our RN, but she also has her PhD in health care administration and she also teaches a nursing assistant course. That’s what’s so exciting about having her on, is because she’s been with patients directly. But she’s also looked at this from a bird’s eye view academically. So she has both of those perspectives, which I really appreciate. She’s a co-founder of the Caregiver Support Services. And we’ll talk about what you do at the end. stay tuned for all of discuss .