Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks!

Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman
3 min readApr 15, 2024


Topic: Where Do You Find Balance As A Caregiver?

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

Family caregivers will always seek the best care for their loved ones. Many will fight lions, tigers, and bears to make it happen. While that thought may be a true sign of love, we probably would not win against lions, tigers, and bears! Yes, a sense of humor is necessary for all caregivers.

Recognizing what’s beneficial for our loved ones is often easier than attaining it in some situations. The health and well-being of those in our care may sometimes overshadow the desires or demands of our elderly loved ones. We must continuously operate in what is best and not what is popular. Taking this unpopular position will feel like taking away the independence of our loved ones. It is quite the opposite. A balance of wants, needs, and desires must operate in the safety arena for both the care recipient and caregiver.

Decisionmaking is already challenging, especially if you are caring for a spouse who has lost independence and is dealing with a life-altering illness. If able, allowing them to make some decisions for themselves is always the first step in determining if you need to balance out an outcome. It’s not always an easy assumption, and changing direction can happen at the same hour or day.

Remember that for any task our loved ones can do themselves, let them do it! It's one less thing you have to do, but oversight is vital to determining safe practices.

I watched my mother set up her weekly medications. One less thing I had to do until I found a pill on the floor. She declared it was an honest error, but I decided it was time for me to take over the medication setup. Did she argue with me? Did she pressure me to let her medication independence continue? Of course, she did! I let her do her medications until it was no longer safe. I traded medications for folding washcloths and towels. See the balance?

It does boil down to ensuring we are not removing the independence that our loved ones have left. Including them in the struggle of aging is essential to aging in place. I am okay with caregivers walking the thin line of giving grace of independence, but know that stepping in to avoid calamity is your fundamental role.

As Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, finding the balance between hands-on care and independence can be challenging. I want you to remember that safe care in every aspect of the caregiving journey should always be the focus. Be safe! Be well!

Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman is a retired registered nurse and case manager, CEO of Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate and author of From the Lens of Daughter, Nurse, and Caregiver: A Journey of Duty and Honor, and The Black Book of Important Information for Caregivers.




Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman

Dr. Hickman is the author of From the Lens of Daughter, Nurse, and Caregiver: A Journey of Duty and Honor and The Black Book of Important for Caregivers.