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Caretaking and Caregiving

Community Elder

Caretaking and Caregiving

As a person who grew up without boundaries I am realising how natural it is that establishing boundaries is not my forte. 

I probably perservered with building connection for far too long.

What do people think of this simple difference between caretaking and caregiving?



Community Guide

Re: Caretaking and Caregiving

wow @Appleblossom, that was real interesting

I am  caretaking and not caregiving

My mum has always said that I look after everyone else first before myself  and she is worried that i am "losing myself" who i was

Senior Contributor

Re: Caretaking and Caregiving


I came across this article earlier this year when I was searching for answers, (may ha e been my new councillor who suggested I look it up),  it was a real eye opener for me. I have been very much a caretaker for my wife through her illness. Instead of helping it would seem that I have enabled dependence and self destructive behaviours.

For the last couple of months I have been working on new boundaries with the support of my councillor. It has actually gone much better than either of us expected .  We have never had boundaries in our relationship, i have always done whatever I could to keep my darling happy and yet so often have been accused of being controlling and been the object of resentment by my darling .

Currently working hard on transitioning to caregiver role. 

Community Elder

Re: Caretaking and Caregiving

Thanks @Determined and @Shaz51

I am impressed by your commitment to your spouses and very open to learning.

I like the idea of sharing generally about caring and love in this thread.  Especially that it is not just about binary opposites as men and women, or parents and children.

I valued my "coping style" which is described as active on that site

In a weird way I had caregiver attitudes and always strived for independence and growth of skills in all 3 of my children but have to face situation that there has been a caretaker outcome.  Maybe that is due to the open family structures I have been repeatedly involved with. 

This is probably a silly thread with

me thinking aloud, but Thanks for answering.

The site also says that to be a "good" caregiver one has to be clear about boundaries. Such a lot to learn about them ... lol

It is not a dictionary definition but living solutions for togetherness and boundaries that I need.

I am deeply wary of only looking at boundaries.

Community Guide

Re: Caretaking and Caregiving

on transitioning to caregiver role. @Determined, @Appleblossom, I know this may seem like a strange question -- where do i increase the caregiver role xx

Community Guide

Re: Caretaking and Caregiving

It is a very important thread @Appleblossom, thankyou ,we need reminders along the way , and there are sooo many carers that are in the same boat as us xoxo

Senior Contributor

Re: Caretaking and Caregiving

Agree with @Shaz51, this is a very important thread @Appleblossom

How to increase the caregiver role? That's a hard one shaz51, something I am only achieving with the support of my councillor. But for me it has started with new boundaries and better self care. Which reminds me, I have not been back to see my councillor for ages because again I have been too busy focussinb on everyone else anf have not had time for myself. 

Community Guide

Re: Caretaking and Caregiving

and I don`t have a councillor @Determined, @Appleblossom

Senior Contributor

Re: Caretaking and Caregiving

Hard to find a good one has been my problem @Shaz51, I could not have got my boundaries underway without the sipport if my councillor.

The biggest thing for me at the time was knowing I was doing things for the right reason and out if love because I was pretty resentful and over it all myself at the time. Very hurt and lost and scared  so I was concerned about my motives. 

My counciĺlor was able to talk through our circumstances and gently but firmly insist that it was ohr only option.  The bonus with being supported by the councillor was that all of my darlings venom around the changes was directed at my councillor not me lol. 

Well worth looking around and finding someone whonsuits you @Shaz51. The service I access is fre through a community organisation as I am a carer. Its about an hour drive has been the biggest barrier for me. And with all the time my darling has spent in hospital and I havnt been able to take bub in with me. 

I was refered by the university councilor who knew about it. I think she put me in thebtoo hard basket which suited me as I didnt really like her. Too obsessed with mindfulness and not helping me to address and process my underlying issuess.

Community Elder

Re: Caretaking and Caregiving

Maybe a counsellor will help baalnce the way you manage things, @Shaz51but then you do your own internet research and try out things, so I do not push them as I am a bit wary of the growth of the industry and lack of accountability and huge taxpoayer input.

@Determined I was probably into mindfulness before they made the term up .. and so when it is suggested as if it is going to really cure or help me then it can be insulting and patronising. There is no one size fits all. Period. People and life is more complicated than that.

I understand that only having a limited no of tools in a counsellor's toolkit really limits the help they can give, but its not a numbers game of types of therapy they can throw around that matter ... it is the application of the ideas to the lived life of the person and therefore following things through with them.

To be honest, the main gain I have is to be in a room with a human person  who I know is not supposed to hurt me.  The contract of being there means I should not feel ripped off.  It is supposed to be for my own good.

They have rarely set me homework and only given me a few novel ideas as they can tell I have probably already done it before they think of it. I had done training early in life.  The actual follow up of specific issues has been a bit light on to tell the truth.  When I reflect on the enormous amount they have been paid.

Still given the lack of support I had in childhood and marriage it does help for me to see a counsellor. I dont think I would have been able to stave off impulses to FOLLOW THROUGH on SI til now.

I am struggling greatly now to reduce my internet plan to try and coax my son out of his cosy cave. I have been looking online and I simply have to bite the bullet and make a decision.  I dont want it to be an all or nothing. I have a newish modem might go with a BYO modem small data plan.




Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia (NT), MIFA(NT) is a non-government organisation providing services for people living with a mental illness and their carer’s and families. 


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