The first “prong” is the relationship with the Care Partner. Each Care Partner is so much more than a person with a disease. At various times the team I was part of was matched with a writer, a florist and a computer whiz. From these diverse persons I learned that while I could help with practical tasks such as rides to appointments and household duties, the most important thing I could do was to be there--- to sit quietly and listen as a person in both physical and emotional pain shared deep feelings and fears. It was a privilege to be trusted in this way.
The second “prong” is the relationship with the other care team members. I became friends with people I would never have met otherwise. We were not all the same age, gender or faith background but we were united in our caring for someone who needed help. Sharing in this work caused quick and deep bonding. In addition to team responsibilities we shared our own joys and sorrows and some fun meal times.
The third “prong” is the relationship with the Rosehedge/Multifaith works staff and other care teams. I believe it would be difficult to find people with more compassion and wisdom. They gave me and the other team members much support and encouragement.
I cannot, by myself, make big changes in the world, but I found that I could, through the three prongs of the Care Teams, help one person in a big way.
Thanks to Jenny Phillips for this thoughtful reflection and nearly a decade as a CareTeam volunteer.