Cultivating Empathy For Others
Empathy is a powerful force that allows people to understand and relate to others. Empathy is also the feeling that makes it difficult to turn a blind eye to the suffering of others.
When working with people who are dependent on others' care, it is really important to learn how to be empathetic. It can be really challenging for people to lose their independence and need others' help. They may struggle with a loss of dignity or being embarrassed about people helping them with personal things.
When caregivers have empathy, they can sense the needs, concerns and what their patients might be feeling or how they might be suffering. To cultivate empathy in ourselves and others, it’s about putting ourselves in their shoes and trying to understand what it might feel like. As we try to experience something through another we might be able to better help them be comfortable, at peace and able to enjoy life more.
One thing that has been very helpful at Fairbrook Grove Assisted Living Home is our desire to make our home feel like a family. This desire was created out of empathy as many elderly people have lost a lot of close relationships due to leaving their home environment, ability to travel or meet up with people they’ve cared about. By striving to create a home environment with each resident that moves in, this helps give them a sense of belonging with friends and family. We celebrate birthdays and holidays, have parties and are very involved in the day to day care of our residents. This mindset has helped cultivate empathy in ourselves as well as our caregivers.
If you’re having a hard time connecting with a loved one who is changing in their golden years, try putting yourself in their shoes to experience some struggles and needs they may have. By doing so it will increase your empathy and bring you closer to each other in the process.
May we all be empathetic and loving to each other.
-The Fairbrook Grove Management Team