The Connection Between Empowerment And Respite

Empowerment, as many experts know, goes beyond just being the latest trend in helping people live better lives.

“Empowerment isn’t a buzzword among leadership gurus. It’s a proven technique where leaders give their teams the appropriate training, tools, resources, and guidance to succeed,” says John Rampton.

Empowerment Of Hope

This resonates deeply with what Hope Grows does for family caregivers. We provide the training, tools, resources and guidance through our core area of services for caregivers. Part of our mission is to empower caregivers to seek wellness of mind, body, and spirit. The other part of our mission is to inspire hope through nature.

“Nature does not expect anything from us, it is one place that we are able to surrender control,” says Lisa Story. We teach caregivers that retreating to nature is important. It allows our mind to relax and help to let go of unnecessary control.

Part of tools and guidance is the power of nature, using Eco Psychology as the basis for our model of therapy.

What Does Empowerment Mean?

So, what does “empower” or “empowerment” really mean? According to the dictionary, when used as a noun it simply means ‘the giving or delegation of power or authority” and “‘the giving of an ability; enablement or permission.”

Used as a verb in a transitive way, it means “to give’ or “to give ability to.’  That sounds so simple to do, right? To give the ability to do something or to transfer the giving of power.

So, when Hope Grows empowers caregivers to seek wellness of mind, body and spirit, we are truly asking caregivers to give themselves the ability or to delegate the power to self. Or, put another way, to enable them to incorporate a different perspective in their role as caregiver.

New Perspective

Gaining a new or different perspective can prove difficult. However, our mission at Hope Grows was built upon the foundation of self-care, empowerment and a change of environment. A National Caregiver Self-Awareness and Empowerment Project assessment indicated many needs of caregivers, but our mission chose this area upon which to build our services.

Some of the ways in which we want caregivers to empower themselves is by way of engaging in therapeutic respite. Hope Grows provides opportunities to interact with activities that can be accessed in the comfort of one’s home with our Think Caregiver™ program or accessed by attending Therapeutic Respite™ activities that are scheduled periodically through the year.

Hope Grows Therapeutic Respite™ promotes rest, rejuvenation, and self-care, the process of engaging becomes the cornerstone to empowerment.

The Need For Respite

According to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, only 15% of caregivers use respite or respite services, even though respite is one of the most regularly requested services for family caregivers.

Factors that impede the ability to access respite are at times out of the control of the caregiver. Those factors can include financial hardship, inability to find respite opportunities, transportation, and many other social forces.

I believe that caregivers identify with how these social forces influence the process of adaptation to this new perspective of respite. We are social beings, and are interconnected by our shared experiences, with caregiving being one of them. As social beings, we cannot define who we are in isolation, we must define ourselves within the dynamics of the interplay between ourselves and the social, community and health industry surroundings.

Hope Grows seeks to empower not only the caregiver, but also the social forces that may impede the ability of the caregiver to utilize respite services. After all, the verb for empower simply means to make someone stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights. Don’t we all want that for caregivers?

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