ALOHA – the fundamentals of caring, or an excuse to remain detached?

What to do when you can’t sleep …. I woke up early – too early – and thought that, if I turned on a Net Flix movie that I’ve seen before, I’d drift off to dreamland. I chose The Fundamentals of Caring, with Paul Rudd and Craig Roberts.

As I watched this simple film – yes, I got drawn in … no sleep for me – I was reminded of the acronym, ALOHA, meaning, Ask, Listen, Observe, Help, Ask again (i.e. the fundamentals of caregiving), a rather simplistic concept that the film seeks to prove incorrect. At first glance, this sounds ideal. The caregiver asking … listening … observing … helping … asking again. What could be better?

What is missing entirely from this equation is the personal connection … reciprocity. Each person – the carer and the person receiving care – giving something to, and receiving something from the other. Relationship.

One thing I know for sure is that the people who provide care to our daughter, who lives with multiple challenges, care ABOUT our daughter, not just FOR her.

I have been moved by the personal support workers who have made themselves available at all times of the day to answer a quick text about a concern I have; who call our daughter in the evening, on their own time, because they know she’s had an anxious day; who declare their gratitude for all they have learned from her about good nutrition – knowledge they now use to keep their children healthy, as well as themselves!

These are people who have nurtured relationships. They have gone way beyond ALOHA, and that suits me, and our daughter, just fine! They make a difference – a HUGE difference.

The Fundamentals of Caring … watch it, if you have a chance. I think you’ll enjoy it. (Note: you’ll hear the F-bomb quite a bit, but it fits.)

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