Since 2014, the Spanish Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology (SEGG) has celebrated Caregiver’s Day on November 5. The initiative began with the purpose to «improve the quality of life of the elderly as well as form, support, and acknowledge the caregivers whose work is daily undervalued.» With this campaign, SEGG attempts to make visible the double life of caregivers, providing data that helps to understand the social and working conditions of those being taken care of, and it also attempts to «increase social acknowledgement and validate the strenuous task carried out by those people caring for a relative.»
And then I thought about the number of people I know who are caring for a more or less dependent family member, and in the way they have to reconcile that responsibility with the rest of their daily responsibilities. And I also thought about the number of professional caregivers I know, and about how complex it is to reconcile their personal and family life with the personal and family life of the person for whom they work. This is because when it comes to caregiving we all have something to say, and in some way we all believe ourselves to be right even though most of the families that face a life that requires care have never received training to deal with the meaning of caring and being cared for. And in a home where weariness meets worry, it is difficult to maintain the peace.
But then I imagined those who need care and who don’t have it. Those who are so alone as to be unable to allow themselves to begin to accept that they need help. Those who know themselves to be invisible…And I ended up reflecting about loneliness, and about how little we do to combat it in this aged Galicia.