using meema

Beyond Caregiving, Companionship Connects Us All

It's easy to see the fragmentation in eldercare today.  Like the our healthcare system as a whole, so many of these services seem to be optimized around service delivery, commercial transactions, compensating for deficits -- fixing what's broken -- rather than keeping us well.  It's as if these services were designed around coping rather than caring, despite the nomenclature.  On the other hand, although it can be more difficult to see, there is plenty of eldercare that regularly takes a broader and more holistic view.  There are caregivers of many stripes who strive every day to guarantee the social, psychological and emotional wellbeing of the individuals in their care, as well as their biological needs and physical security.  It's not surprising to hear these caregivers referring to themselves not just as 'caregivers' but also as 'companions.'  Companionship is (or should be) part of caregiving and has the potential to connect us all.

Conversation Starters: No Place Like Home

If the Wizard of Oz moves us, there's a good chance it can move our care companions as well.  And if we're all moved and are able to communicate those feelings in a conversation, given the themes in the film, there's a good chance it'll deepen our connections with one another.  But how to get started?   We've learned from our own experience and by observing experts that we cannot proceed directly to this goal, say, by asking direct questions.  A personal connection can only emerge from authentic conversation and that cannot be forced.  Instead, what seems to work is volunteering an authentic, personal story and then allowing our partners in conversation, our care companions, to reflect on their own and respond on their own. 

Using Meema Stories to Create Meaningful Connections

Caregivers in a variety of settings can use Meema Stories to create more meaningful connections with their spouse, parent, client, resident or patient.  It sounds almost too good to be true, doesn't it?  Can it really be that easy?  Can anyone do it?  How does that actually work in practice?