CMSA Today - Issue 3, 2011 - (Page 16)

Family Caregivers Are You a Family Caregiver? Say, “Yes, I Am!” Self-advocacy and Identification Can Strengthen Resolve and Roles S oul-searching is common during a person’s life and career. The questions resound: Who am I? How do I define myself? How do you see me? These are heady questions, ones we ask ourselves all our lives as we try first to establish, and then refine, our identity and seek our place in the world. PROVIDING ANSWERS We define ourselves in many ways, initially often by our physical characteristics. I’m a petite Caucasian woman with brown eyes and brown hair. I wear glasses. These are the descriptors I might relay to a person on the phone whom I plan to meet for the first time. These details don’t provide a complete picture of me, of course, but they do begin to create an outline. We define ourselves in other ways, too – by our profession, family situation, religion, ethnic background, and interests. Each label carries a set of facts, images, and statistics; some of them we choose and others we do not. The point is that who we are is the summation of many facets of our life, and each facet, whether it be age, gender, or job description, tells us something about ourselves, and tells society something about us, too. By Suzanne Mintz SEEKING SUPPORT None of us likes to be stereotyped, but we don’t like feeling all alone, either. By identifying with a group, we gain some recognition. We fit in. We belong. It also helps us understand ourselves and gain insights about ourselves that may not be available to us any other way. For instance, I feel comfortable when I walk into a room full of women in their mid60s because I know we share many things in common. As the first wave of Baby Boomers to cross that invisible, but nevertheless powerful, line of demarcation, we are on display. We are different from how our parents were at 65. In a sense, we are younger, at least in terms of our appearance and the multitasking way we run our lives. It’s the beginning of a new journey for me and I am very glad that I am not going on the journey alone. Identifying as part of a group can indeed be beneficial. 16 CMSA TODAY ISSUE 3 • 2011 • DIGITAL http://www.cmsa.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CMSA Today - Issue 3, 2011

President’s Letter
Insights to Effective Transition From Caregiver to Case Manager
Are You a Family Caregiver? Say, “Yes, I Am!”
‘Hot’ Legal Issues for Discharge Planners and Case Managers
Making Tough Conversations Easier
You Can Help Make Multistate Licensure a Reality
Association News
CMSA Corporate Partners
Index of Advertisers

CMSA Today - Issue 3, 2011

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