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To a whole new level

By Michael D. Tenaglia

Caregiving is the activity or profession of regularly caring for a sick, elderly, or disabled person. It can be filled with rewards and joy but can also be overwhelming and exhausting. Some may choose it as a profession, while others have it imposed on them because a loved one is inflicted with a disease, a disability, or an accident.

Regardless, a person in a caregiving situation becomes the invisible patient, as Dr. Jamie Jacobs, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses in The Greatest Burden, The Greatest Blessing.

We hear directly from caregivers how they are stretched thin with little time to spare for themselves. It is no wonder we are learning that caregivers are experiencing more physical ailments, from colds to heart disease, as well as mood disorders like depression and anxiety.
regivers are worn out and at risk for serious chronic illness and mortality, yet why are we not doing more for them? The physical and emotional burdens of caregiving have never been more prominent. In essence, the caregiver has become the invisible patient.

Others in the book share similar experiences, but that doesn't stop them from serving as a caregiver for their loved ones.

Through my own thirteen-year journey caring for my wife, Lynda, I can't help but look at the world differently. I admire and adore those who perform selfless acts of love while serving as a caregiver. Their sacrifices, which they do without a hint of self-pity, are a marvel.


I also look at those who have achieved fortune and fame and use that platform for self-aggrandizing, gaining greater wealth, or enjoying the pleasures of their resources. These acts do nothing to help others, especially those in need. Sometimes, they perform selfless acts only when a camera is available, or others are around to witness their "acts" of generosity. 


On the other hand, some well-known people use their platform to benefit others in need. Often, they do so quietly and selflessly. I am thinking of Tim and Stacy Wakefield, who both succumbed to cancer. It was only after their deaths that we learned of the many deeds of kindness and generosity that were done behind closed doors. These are true heroes in our society.


I would like to recognize one person who has taken caregiving to a whole new level. For me and many others, caregiving is a one-on-one situation.  Yet, after attaining a visible platform and the necessary resources to care for others, she has used her platform to benefit children.

You know her as Delilah.

Years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Delilah at a local Boston radio station, WVBF, and interacted with her many times. Now, she is on nearly 200 stations throughout the country and using her expanded platform to care for 15 children (three of her own and 12 adopted). Later, she founded Point Hope and is still making a difference at home and in many people’s lives.   

Delilah and Mike were recently at an event in Boston, MA. The author provided the photo.

I had the privilege of reconnecting with Delilah through an event produced by the local station, WMJX 106.7. It was an opportunity to introduce her to our book and discuss with her the wonderful opportunities and privileges of becoming a caregiver.

You may feel invisible, lost, or broken down.

But know this: you are not invisible, and you are not alone. You, too, take caregiving to a whole new level just by showing up every day for your loved one.

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