Discover the 'Cheat Codes' for the Difficult 'Game' of Giving Care by@iallyinc

Discover the 'Cheat Codes' for the Difficult 'Game' of Giving Care

I-Ally, Inc. HackerNoon profile picture

I-Ally, Inc.

I-Ally is an app that arms millennial family caregivers with tools that keep them from falling through societal cracks.

Ultimately, gaming is most compelling when there is a perfect balance of potential outcomes. Meaning, the game has to be difficult enough to pose a worthwhile challenge, but there has to be a chance the player could actually win.

If the game is unbeatable, frustration takes over and the game is tossed aside. However, if the game is too easy, winning yields no personal reward. It becomes meaningless; The player gets no satisfaction.

To strike the perfect balance, there must be a chance that this time, maybe this time, satisfaction can be achieved – especially if growth in skill and knowledge increase those chances.

I think this same principle can apply to caregiving.

A caregiver experiences constant defeat: Daily loss of independence, privacy, personal time, money, plans for the future, sometimes hopes and dreams. It’s only made more difficult when it is intertwined with the overarching loss of one’s family members. Immediate grief is compounded by anticipatory grief and complex grief.

A large percentage of family caregivers have no choice. This role was thrust upon them and no alternative is in sight.

It’s also incredibly common there other family members have chosen, for whatever reason, not to help.

Assisted living facilities and home health agencies have become so costly that only the very wealthy can utilize them.

Even so, a nationwide shortage of healthcare workers leaves us all gasping for help, only to return with fistfuls of the void.

Here is my suggestion: If the majority of caregivers have no choice in the matter, and being a caregiver is soaked in crushing defeat, something must be done. Humanity has a duty to bear witness and to take action to alleviate some of the pain. After all, caregiving can happen to anyone at any time.

The caregiver is in the driver’s seat. The caregiver makes the healthcare decisions for their loved one. The caregiver administers their medications, meals, amount of water they imbibe, the level of isolation they experience, the atmosphere of their home, their level of physical comfort, what they watch on television, how they spend their money, if they pay their bills, if they make it to their doctor appointments, if they schedule follow-up doctor appointments, if the cupboards are bare or stocked, if proper paperwork is in place, if end-of-life wishes are honored, if a 911 call is made, if the doctor’s plan of care is followed or even read by anyone.

Cheat Code 1: It is in everyone’s interest to respect the caregiver, including the caregiver themselves, and educate themselves.

Cheat Code 2: An aggressively different approach is necessary to counteract Caregiver Cognitive Dissonance i.e. look at yourself as the CEO of this situation.

I propose the caregiver is like Player One in a video game. The caregiver must dodge the bad guys, maximize the number of points earned, and level up.

However, to make the ‘video game’ strike that perfect chord and make winning achievable for the player, we may need some ‘cheat codes.’ Cheat codes for beating each ‘villain.’ Cheat codes for getting more points. Cheat codes for bypassing certain levels altogether. Cheat codes that minimize defeat as much as possible.

Cheat Code 3: One such cheat code is to join our community. Sharing experiences with others in the same situation can be a huge help in managing some of the stress you are experiencing.

The game will never be too easy; so, keep creating ‘cheat codes’ until it is entirely possible for a family caregiver to live a healthy and happy life while fulfilling their role as caregiver.

First published here.

I-Ally, Inc. HackerNoon profile picture
by I-Ally, Inc. @iallyinc.I-Ally is an app that arms millennial family caregivers with tools that keep them from falling through societal cracks.
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