What does it mean to become empowered and be an advocate? At NFCA we define empowerment as sense of confidence in your ability to bring about positive changes in your circumstances and in your inalienable right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is the feeling of "Yes I Can!" and the will to take actions. It's also the energy to power your "Yes I Can" feeling and the energy to do what it takes to get things done. Empowerment is an overused word these days, and so it becomes easy to brush it aside, but for family caregivers empowerment is critical if we are going to rise above the day-to-day challenges we face and strive for a better quality of life for ourselves and our family.
The extraordinary Helen Keller, who despite being blind and deaf, achieved so much in her life, once said:
That is a good message for family caregivers to hear and remember, especially on those dark days when the struggles of family caregiving seem overwhelming. Each of us is an "honest worker" caring so deeply about our loved one and giving so much of ourselves to help them - and hopefully believing in our "inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?
The following articles and information pieces each deal with a different aspect of caregiver advocacy. We hope as you read them, you will gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be empowered and how you can use your own innate powers to stand up for yourself and your loved one - and possibly also make a difference for all of us.