Those caring for adults with speech, language, and cognitive challenges serve an important role in the healthcare management team. These challenges may be a result of medical diagnoses such as dementia, stroke, and ALS, or occur independently. No matter the etiology, support is often necessary to help individuals reach their goals. Due to the nature of this role, we are beginning to shift our perspective on how to most effectively refer to these individuals: care partner vs. care giver.
Care Giver tends to imply a one-way relationship where a person provides all necessary help to the individual. It places total responsibility on the back of the individual providing care while removing autonomy from the person in need. This suggests the person requiring care is a passive member of their support system when this is often not the case.
Care Partner indicates a mutual relationship between the person requiring care and those providing support to this individual. Both parties have responsibilities and work together to improve one another’s quality of life. Rather than doing things to or for the individual, this shift in perspective allows you to see yourself doing tasks alongside them (Feurich, 2021).
At Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center, our Speech, Language, and Learning team want to support Care Partners in their journey. Our virtual Care Partner support group provides a safe place to discuss the challenges and rewards of providing care for adults with communication disorders. For more information click here.
For information on the CHSC Northeast Ohio Adults Communicating Together (NEO-ACT) group click here.
To learn more about CHSC’s approach to post-stroke care click here.