Hi there, I’m Cori, director of The Caregiver Space. I’ve served as a caregiver in several capacities over the years, to family and friends, and now I run our peer support programs.
About The Caregiver Space
So many of us provide support for people in our lives who are dealing with mental and physical health issues. We're here to support each other as we care for others.
We don’t care how many hours you put in or how long you’ve been doing it. If supporting someone in your life is (or was) on your mind every day, you belong here.
Care work is radically different today than it was 30 or 50 years ago. The healthcare industry has shifted more and more of the responsibilities of keeping people alive and safe onto friends and family — and health aids with little training, support, or pay.
Most of us don’t even identify with the term “caregiver,” so how do we find support? There’s no one demographic in caregiving, it touches everyone and intersects with the other challenges and opportunities of our lives. We're embracing mutual aid to create lives of meaning today and build the worlds we dream of.
The Caregiver Space is an independent nonprofit, led and run by current, former, and future care workers. We were founded to create a space for people who are often left out of the conversation on caregiving: the LGBTQIA+ community, nontraditional families, sex workers, PWUD, home health aides, and PCAs.
This is a community of people who aspire to be empathetic, generous, understanding, and patient — to the people we support, to each other, and to ourselves.
Who’s behind this?
We're here because we needed a space that was safe for us
Thankfully, there are a lot more caregiving organizations and much more support than when Adrienne founded The Caregiver Space. The things that make us unique -- and keep us relevant — are also the reasons you might not want to subscribe.
I'm a queer millennial whose search results are mostly about how I moved from the US to Canada for political reasons. My care work experience is wrapped up in conversations about polyamory, accessing healthcare without insurance, mental health, substance abuse, and intersectionality.
Adrienne spent her career as a graphic designer and has led the sort of life where I regularly nag her about the status of her memoir. She's best known for hosting The Grube Tube after her husband, Steve, died. She navigated an intense caregiving situation when her husband and her mother-in-law were both terminally ill, as well as having been a long-distance caregiver for her mother.
Our former community manager, Bob, was a military veteran who took care of his wife, Annie for several years. The story of Bob and Annie is a true love story, but life is complicated, cancer is a terrible disease, and his writing was 'too negative' for other sites to be willing to publish. I know not everyone who lives in the midwest is nice, but Bob was. He put up with us as persnickety New Yorkers. Bob passed away and his work is continued by our team of volunteer moderators.
We created this space because other organizations weren't welcoming to people like us. We welcome everyone, but it's important to us to keep this a safe space for people with some very different life experiences and opinions. Sometimes the most unlikely friendships are among the most rewarding.
Why you might not want to subscribe
I have to warn you, though: this is not your typical newsletter and we're not your typical nonprofit organization.
This is not a collection of practical tips and tricks. We’re stepping back and exploring the experience of care work from perspectives that are philosophical, historical, economic, and sociological, using sources that are highbrow and lowbrow. This may not be what you’re looking for right now.
The stock photo image of a "caregiver" doesn't look like our lives at all, but that's who most caregiver support programs are created to support. Not all of us are comfortable in spaces run by healthcare conglomerates and religious organizations. Not all of us buy into the idea that we have to be relentlessly positive all the time. Our relationships are complicated and our care work is intersectional.
Heck, many of us don't identify as a 'caregiver' at all; it's just a box we have to check in order to access services we need to survive.
If that sounds like you, then I'm glad you found us.
Maybe you just don’t want more emails in your inbox. You can read the posts any time you want in our archives, no need to subscribe.
The newsletter is less about practical tips and more about the big picture. Our community is incredibly diverse, both in terms of who we are and who we’re providing care to, so it’s rare to come across a specific tip that’s going to be relevant to many people.
I spent two years traveling around North America, spending time with care workers and mutual aid organizations before COVID-19 put that project on hold. I’m connecting with care workers, researchers, institutional decision makers, and policy makers around the world. I’m also digging into both mainstream publications, academic research, and artwork inspired by care work.
What you get by subscribing
You don’t actually get anything by subscribing. Participating in our communities, reading our original content, and accessing our database of resources is all open to all. Subscribing is simply making a donation to keep the organization running.
Subscribing through Substack is a way to provide monthly or annual donations. If you’d like to make a one-time donation, you can do that through our website.
The Caregiver Space is an independent mutual aid organization and it costs nearly $100k a year to keep it running. If you’re able to provide us with financial support and find the community helpful, we would greatly appreciate your help.