In the many years of working with caregivers I have found that the caregiver voyage can be divided into four stages: shock, awareness, acceptance, and healing.
The caregiver voyage starts at the time of diagnosis and continues through – and beyond – the death of the loved one. In the first stage of shock, diagnosis and prognosis monopolize the caregiver’s every thought. Countless hours are spent going from one doctor appointment to the next searching for a more accurate or hopeful diagnosis. Denial is paramount in this stage of the caregiver voyage and the caregiver holds onto the hope of waking from a bad dream.