When I learned that one of the guests scheduled to appear on the Dr. Phil Show on May 26th was a young caregiver I made it a point to watch.
Featured in the later part of the show was a young woman named Stephanie who is a caregiver for her father who has had a massive stroke. She wakes him each day, dresses him, moves him from bed to chair, and feeds him,tends to all his waking needs and then gets him ready for bed each night. She does all this while attending college. She is a remarkable young woman.
She is an excellent representative of the millions of young adults and the millions of teens and older adults caring for family members every day. It was wonderful to see any caregiver recognized on your show.
Make sure you eat right and exercise. Get enough rest. Make time to be with friends. Don’t feel guilty for wanting time away. You must take care of yourself before you can take care of another.
All true. Every caregiver knows this. What the advice givers, including you and Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, fail to do is provide a way for all this to happen. Most caregivers would love to follow this advice if only they could.
Caregivers don’t need advice. Caregivers need help. They need family members to understand what they do every single day and not judge them or their care decisions based on short occasional visits.
Caregivers need regular respite care so they can follow the advice so often given.
Dr. Phil you let us down when you fell into the role of advice giver and failed to offer this young woman and the millions of other caregivers a way to follow it. I watch your show and I see you regularly offer gifts of counseling and resources for help in their local communities to people addicted to drugs and alcohol and to families dealing with emotional and physical abuse when their stories air.
Why didn’t you do that for this young woman? You could have been a beacon of light for caregivers everywhere instead you let us down. Why?
Dr. Phil, I challenge you to use your huge resources and the Dr. Phil Foundation to develop a program of grants to help caregivers follow your advice to accept help, rest, and take care of themselves so they can continue to care for those they love so much that they are willing to sacrifice their health to for them. Respite care is vital for caregivers and you can help provide it.
If you support my challenge to Dr. Phil to do more than offer advice to caregivers please let him know via Facebook and/or Twitter and any other social media sites you use, and by sharing this post with everyone you know and asking them to do the same.