senior couple who disagree about politics and have been married many years

I’ve been watching our Facebook page get taken over by a bunch of school yard bullies over the past few months. It’s a pretty confusing thing to see for a support group.

Living in Florida, I’ve gotten an up close and personal view of Trump lighting people up. It’s great to see everyone so excited about the future of the US.

It’s less exciting to see my otherwise lovely neighbors start talking about Liberals like they’re less than human.

Given that Liberals and Conservatives share the same DNA, I imagine they’re doing the same thing over in their own Facebook bubble, although I don’t see much of that.

One of the great things about doctors offices is they don’t ask about your political affiliation before they treat you. They just treat you, because any good doctor doesn’t care what bumper sticker you have on your car.

Caregivers aren’t bond by the Hippocratic Oath, but joining The Caregiver Space suggests you’re here to talk to other caregivers and support each other.

That’s suddenly hard for people, because everything caregiving related has become a button unleashing a political firestorm.

I know these are all words that are just asking for trouble: Obamacare, repeal and replace, Meals on Wheels, Medicare, subsidies, tax credits, health insurance, provider network, work requirements…the list goes on. These words turn people into internet trolls and bullies.

The problem is, how do we talk about our lives as caregivers without mentioning them? I don’t think we can.

But there’s a solution.

We’re all old enough to remember a time when complaining about copays was just that — complaining about copays. Not a commentary on the President of the United States or a declaration of our political feelings. It was a commentary on our personal experience. I would complain about copays and someone else would say agree that they really add up and it stresses them out, too.

We can still do that.

If someone says they’re worried about changes to their health insurance, I can respond to another caregiver saying they’re worried.

If someone is stressed out about how they’re going to pay their kid’s medical bills, I hear that they’re stressed out.

If someone is upset because they tried to sign up for a social program and they got placed on a waiting list, I can relate to feeling frustrated.

If someone writes a post about how they wish the rules for FDA approval would change and I completely disagree, I can say that I disagree without going on a personal attack.

Some people have a great experience with the VA, some people don’t. That doesn’t mean anyone is wrong, it means they had different experiences.

We all know this already. We’re polite to people we disagree with all the time. I disagree with my husband about things. My parents and I seem to have opposite opinions about pretty much everything. And we still love each other. I still support them through all sorts of things and they support me.

We all have enough stress in our lives. We come here to share our ups and our downs and know other people understand what we’re going through. I come to The Caregiver Space for support, but lately it’s been stressing me out.

Let’s leave the political arguments for another Facebook page and get back to supporting each other.

Written by Allison Powell
I live off of food from Trader Joe's. I spend my life in a cubicle, a la Office Space. I'm kind of obsessed with the internet. Confession: I take care of people but don't identify as a caregiver.

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3 Comments

  1. Until a person is in this sitituation they really don;t understand the day to day ins and outs. It is a different difficult world. We need one another .

    Reply
  2. As a Caregiver I fear for my mom’s well being. She lives with me so I am involved in her care and the current discussion on Medicare and Medicaid changes are alarming. But what can I do? I can pick up the phone and call my representatives and voice my opinion. This is a place for caregivers to support each other and give suggestions to others. To help ease the burden of caregiving. Yes we most likely understand what Meals on Wheels does for the elderly who want to live independently. It provides a meal plus a person who checks up on an elderly person living by themselves. For family that works or lives far away from their family member this is a blessing. Also it can keep the elderly living independently instead of a nursing home placement. As a caregiver I worry about funding for home health aides that assist family caregivers. Will this lead to more of the elderly being placed in nursing homes? I think the fear for our family members is real and I dread reading the news or watching it.

    Reply
  3. As caregivers we need to unite no matter what political party we are affiliated with. We are compassionate caring people who are exhausted sometimes to the point of throwing in the towel but get back up everyday to provide care and support to our mothers, fathers, grandparents, daughters, sons, husbands, wives and children! Let’s support one another not divide one another.

    Reply

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