About My Caregiving Experience


When it comes to caregiving, there are no strangers and no boundaries.

In this video, Christopher MacLellan talks about his experience as an LGBT Caregiver and how caregiving is the one social issue that brings people together from diverse backgrounds and experiences.

I was often asked, “what’s the difference for LGBT caregivers, and I would always respond well, not much really, because we all just want to be able to care for our loved ones as best as we can. But I’m not naïve as there were some differences for same-sex couples dealing with the medical and legal system, especially before marriage equality became the law of the land. But that was beside the point when it comes to caregiving and caregivers.

Richard Schiffer and Christopher MacLellan circa 2012

Caregiving is often, if not always, an unplanned event for everyone. An unfortunate accident, an untimely diagnosis, and suddenly, you’re thrust into an unfamiliar role, but you do it out of love, care, and commitment. I have yet to meet anyone with caregiving on their bucket list of things to do in life. However, I’ve learned along the way that some people feel like they are caregivers by default. I’ve also learned along the way that some people have chosen to be caregivers through marriage. I certainly respect that. I was fortunate to care for somebody that I truly loved.

Every caregiver, no matter their race, sexual orientation, economic status, or cultural background, craves three important components that make their caregiving journey just a tad bit easier.

Validation, Resources, and Respite,

  • Validation that you’re not alone, doing the best that you can,
  • Resources that you can trust that help you get through your caregiving day.
  • Respite for both the caregiver and the care partner, as it’s okay to admit that caregiving can be hard.

Read our 2015 Pulizter Prize-nominated LGBT caregiving story by clicking on the photo.

The most important thing that happened to me during my caregiving experience was I found an outlet to share my caregiving story. That’s where I found the validation I needed, the trusted resources that were so important to me and my loved one, and the permission to find respite care.

As you feel comfortable, find an outlet to share your story, as that’s where you’ll find the validation you seek, the trusted resources you need, and the respite care that will re-energize you.

The best information and trusted referrals come from one caregiver to another. That’s because there are no strangers when it comes to caregiving. Every caregiver understands where you’ve been and where you’re going, regardless of race, orientation, or economic status. That’s because it’s through story sharing that diversity meets the road to collaborate on a common cause. And our common cause is to support caregivers before, during, and after caregiving has ended.

Visit our good friends at CareCopilot and learn about the incredible platform they are creating to help make your caregiving day easier so you can set a daily intention for yourself!

Visit My Green Folder Film and learn about our latest project!

Christopher MacLellan is the author of “What’s The Deal with Caregiving?” and is the founder of The Whole Care Network.

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