Caregiving vs Caretaking

I am a caregiver for my wife. I help her doing things that are a bit of a challenge for a person in a wheelchair.
So my interest was peaked when I saw an article titled "When Care Becomes Overcare". A few clips from it:
On occasion our care and compassion can leave us feeling drained and stressed. Emergency relief workers will tell you that compassion fatigue is very real – it takes practice to care for people without becoming overly identified with their challenges.

The energy drain and depletion we sometimes feel can happen as a result of being out of balance with our care. Sometimes our care can cross a line and turns into worry, anxiety and stress. In other words, our care and compassion start to drain our energy and becomes what is called “overcare.” [You can read the article in full here.]
I can relate to overcare and compassion fatigue. Ann and I have talked about this a lot. We agree that being a caregiver is not the same as being a caretaker. One controls, and is responsible for, the care of another and the other merely assists in it. Ann mostly cares for herself and, in reality, she often takes care of me more than I take care of her. ツ


  1. Interesting post and I imagine it can get out of control. Glad you and Ann have it worked out in a way that you both give to each other.

    1. I sometimes think of it as the difference between assisted living and nursing care Debby. I am a pretty good assistant but not a very good nurse. ツ

  2. I'm glad you and Ann can talk about life together. It must take some of the pressure off of both of you.
    I love you saying that Ann often takes care of you more than you take care of her.

  3. Interesting. Thanks for posting this. My heart goes out to caregivers. I have seen it both ways. Some overcare and some undercare with the desire to get out of the situation. A balance is needed. Just my thoughts and observation :)


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