Friday, April 9, 2010

advice from a caregiver

I worked Easter Sunday. I made double time but in three years it was my worst experience of trying to stop abuse from a family member. I won't go into details because there was mental illness involved on both sides. but even so, I can't watch someone abuse my client. Abuse is more than physical abuse.

From my experience of working with the elderly and quite a few had dementia. I know how hard it is to handle them. The worse of the dementia the harder they are to deal with.
If your loved one needs a caregiver and you have hired a caregiver, let her/him do her job. Don't always hover over them and give directions to the person too. It makes the client confused more and also it tends to make the caregiver more nervous if you are always watching. I have plenty of experience of the same stuff and the time the family isn't watching over. It goes better.

If you don't live there with the client then go home. I know that sounds harsh, but do you really need to stay hours and hours if you have paid help. I do understand how that might be different if they are on hospice care. But if it's someone who needs rock the clock care and is hard to deal with because of their mental status, then just go home. I don't mean not to visit, but don't sit there for days and hours and being frustrated.

Remember that the client (your family member) isn't behaving in that way just to get to you. They have a problem that causes them to lose their ability to think right. That is why their is a caregiver. I have had people tell me wow, you handled my Mother so well. How did you do it? I can do it, because she isn't my Mother. I haven't been here for days and I am not in the middle.
I haven't heard the same story for five hundred times. Her or his stories are new to me.

Lastly, if your Mom or Dad or someone else has some dementia or other problem that makes them hard to be around. Take advantage of those good moments. Treasure them. And don't feel bad for allowing the caregiver to do her/his job. I can't speak for all caregivers but I like to say that most really like their jobs. We love what we do. We don't do it for the money. Yes, we need jobs, but it's not a high paying job. So, if your using a agency and your paying a high amount per hour. They are probably only getting a little more than a third of it. I only say that last part, because I have had people mad that I talk to the clients, because they are paying so much.

1 comment:

Marsha said...

My mother had Alzheimer's, and without loving caregivers neither she nor I would have made it. I was lucky because I found a facility near my house, so instead of visiting seldom and spending a long time, I could pop in every day just to see how she was doing and learn from the staff if there was anything she needed. I often didn't spend more than a few minutes, and even though her memory was gone, whenever I left she seemed reassured that she would see me again soon.

I probably didn't thank her caregivers enough, so on behalf of the relatives of your clients who may be severely stressed and not able to remember to thank you - thank you! I know that you are essential to your clients' quality of life, and it is so good to read your words on how seriously you take your work.