Trends in Transplant Spotlight
Updated: Apr 13, 2021
This year I attended the Georgia Transplant Foundation’s Trends in Transplant Conference in Atlanta, GA. Information covered at this year’s conference addressed many topics relevant to the field of organ donation and transplantation. Topics covered included Georgia Transplant Foundation programs and services, caregiving and receiving, support groups and mentorship, liver transplant updates, budgeting and financial preparation for the first year after transplant, skin care for organ transplant patients.
Of all the topics covered, my favorite topic of the conference was the session about caregiving and support. This session’s key focus was to address caregiving and support as it relates to the quality of life for the individual in need of a transplant. While discussing this topic, the speaker identified four key areas that impact quality of life. Those areas are…
1. Burden (Burden caregiver feels, and burden felt by individual in need of transplant)
2. Financial strain (access to resources)
3. How one chooses to manage pain (pain management)
4. Giving meaning to experience (Individual’s ability to create meaning in their situation)
After identifying these four aspects that determine quality of life, the speaker highlighted what they believed to be the core tenants of caregiving.
1. Presence is power
-Be intentional about caring for someone
2. It’s never too late to start caring for someone
-Mistakes will be made. Take ownership of these mistakes and analyze how you can be a better caretaker.
3. Denial doesn’t work
-Denial destroys while acceptance gives someone courage to face their challenges.
4. Joy comes in moments
- When you are a caregiver, remember that life unfolds one moment at a time. Find joy in the little moments.
Caregiving is very important for those going through the transplant process. If you are a caretaker, you have the unique responsibility to help someone in their greatest time of need. If you have or ever become a caretaker for someone in need of an organ transplant, always remember that care is defined by the recipient. If you don’t know how what you can do to help, ask and seek to understand how you can be the best caretaker for the person you are caring for.
To find out more about the Georgia Transplant Foundation see the link below: