The Hidden Beauty of Caregiving

Jerry Schwartz, PhD, LMHC, has been working as an end-of-life counselor for the better part of a decade, having over 35 years' experience in psychotherapy.   In addition to being a college instructor and community educator, Dr. Schwartz has also trained in the non-denominational chaplaincy program at Beverly Hospital.   Dr. Schwartz works at All Care Hospice as the Licensed Mental Health Counselor for patients, families, and caregivers facing life-limiting illness focusing heavily on the issues and challenges of self-care for the patient and caregiver.       The Hidden Beauty of Caregiving Dr. Jerry Schwartz, PhD LMHC It is estimated that there are over 100 million people caring for a loved one at home in the United States. This is either the person to your left or your right – or yourself – although the bubble of caregiving can shrink one's life so that you feel like you are the only person on the planet at times.   This isolation along with the 24 hour demands, the emotional, social, and financial stresses, and the often invisibility of the full time commitment you have made can result in the worst of self-care and self-esteem outcomes. Caregivers are notoriously awful at caring for themselves and often feel depressed, not understood, not valued, and not supported for the devotion they show their loved one each and every day for sometimes years after years. Almost 35 years ago I was fortunate to learn the craft of wooden boat building at a long standing boatyard on the North Shore. I was a young man at the time and my mentors were many more...