Giving Back

Giving Back

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends | Contributors: Yvette Gagnon | This is a guest post from Comforting Companions
(Member since 2021) | Published: November 7, 2023

This is a guest post from Comforting Companions
(Member since 2021)

Giving to others feels good, whether it’s a small act of kindness or a significant monetary contribution, it fuels our well being and makes us happier because of it.

Giving in business, with its corporate donations, is at the heart of many worthy causes and often a crucial pillar to the financial aid required for charities to operate and support those they serve. According to Statistics Canada, 2021 tax returns reported donations of more than $11.8B to charitable organizations. However, this only includes organizations that could offer an official tax receipt and does not include other forms of giving such as crowd funding platforms or other methods of donating.

Most people tend to think about giving in financial terms, but really, there are so many ways and places to give to others — whether its globally, in your community, or to each other. You can offer your time to a neighbour, a charity, or simply by being fully present to others by listening or sharing a smile. We can also give by lightening someone’s workload, helping others feel good about themselves, by boosting their self-esteem, offering advice, sharing knowledge, or through mentoring someone. The options are endless. A simple act of giving can be done in the smallest of ways that can be life changing to those who receive it and, at the same time, help us live a more meaningful life.

However, have you ever stepped back and wondered what it must feel like to not be able to give back to others because of isolation, depression, chronic illness or other mental or physical limitations? Did you know that giving back to others is a core emotional need that we all have, as well as the need to feel loved, valued, connected, engaged, independent, and competent. Yet for those living with chronic progressive illnesses that affect their ability to do and/or think for themselves, this becomes increasingly more challenging since those who support them are required to do more to help them live day to day.

As care partners or family members, we are well intentioned in wanting to do for others, but doing too much robs those we care for of their independence, in essence, how they feel about themselves. Allowing others to do all they can and are able to do, is crucial to their well being. You may even try asking them to help you with a decision, allowing them to give back in the smallest of ways, which ultimately impacts positively on their quality of life.

The next time you are thinking about giving, whether financially or of your time, please do, but also consider how you can help others give back to increase their own well being and sense of self.

Yvette Gagnon is a Positive Approach to Care Dementia Consultant, Trainer, Engagement Leader, and a Certified Dementia Care Practitioner. She owns Comforting Companions, a service dedicated to the social and emotional wellbeing of others by providing dementia education, consulting, and companion care.

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends

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