A day in the times of a caregiver

Long time, no hear. I have to say that I have been busy, yet I have let those that rely on me down. I apologize for being so evasive, yet I must be succinct. I just do not have the time to do and be everything, but I really want to try, so here I am again….

I want to talk to you about elderly care once again.

Recently I have lost two of my past clients. One I was with for over three years and one for over a year. Both were in their 90s, both were tired. One was really sick….cancer; one was….tired. Both lived full lives; lives that I aspire to live. I loved them both. I was sorry to see them go because the rest of us that remain will definitely miss them! They will forever remain in my heart as a piece of my heart!

Then there are those that remain….

There are some clients that are easy and some that make us think. Those that make us think are the ones that pose the greatest challenges. They are the ones that haunt our nightmares as elderly caregivers.

I wish that all clients were easy. I wish that as an elderly caregiver, I could say that I wanted to be with each of my clients the same as all the others. Unfortunately caregivers are human and they have feelings and bottom line is that some clients are not desirable; they pose a challenge that even the best of caregivers cannot successfully manipulate.

What can a caregiver do when a client poses this difficulty? Stay tuned!

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Taking care of oneself is just as important as taking care of others

Well, we are back to Monday morning again, but instead of going to each client as I normally would, I have a client this morning and then will not be seeing clients until dinnertime and then this evening again. The reason that I am putting off most of my morning clients is because I have to actually take care of myself today. I am heading toward my doctor’s office for a routine checkup.

So many caregivers ignore themselves mentally, physically, spiritually and psychologically. That is wrong because that is when burnout happens. This is what I want to avoid at all costs. I am no good to anyone if I am not at the top of my game!

That is why I am taking the time out of my busy day in order to go to see the doctor. It is just wise business and I want to be as wise as possible so that I am successful as possible in this increasingly important business that I chose to be in.

It is essential for me to be at the top of my game in order to show each of my clients that With Age Comes Respect. After today I can get back to business as normal and take care of each of my clients in turn – once I take care of myself today.

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Up-to-date once again – 02/21/2016

So, after weeks of feeling behind due to takes and other such business paperwork, I am once again able to do research and present subtleties that can help others working in the elderly caretaking world. The more information that we can all share, the better this world is about to become.

Like I have stipulated in past posts, by the year 2030, at least one in six individuals will be over the age of 65 and with all the new discoveries of Dementia, the problem are just about to begin! Thus, it is so very important that research continue and ‘good’ caregivers, I mean the kind that really do care and are not just in it as a ‘job,’ need to stick together in order to accomplish as much as possible!

It is my hope that I can be one of the leaders in this field and I can help show others the way to truly show elders that With Age Comes Respect because I truly do believe that this is what I was meant to accomplish in this lifetime! With that being said, I am going to do my best to stay up-to-date on these posts, sharing with my interested audience everything that I am discovering in hopes that I can truly do some real good!

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Clients present with all types of different issues – (Posted late on 02/21 from 02/20/2016)

I have discussed many issues with each of my clients. One such issue that several of my clients have admitted to is experiencing hallucinations. A lot of times this is caused from Frontotemporal Dementia or FTD.

The hallucinations may amount to the fact that my clients are seeing or hearing things that no one besides them are experiencing. My eldest client to date would see a figure that appeared similar to the Grim Reaper. This so-called ‘being’ would appear in a corner of her bedroom every evening. She always wondered if death was there to get her. She would talk to the figure and ask it ‘tonight was the night’ and the figure would either answer verbally or with a shake of its head. It is no wonder that this was frightening to her!

I have looked up suggestions that I lend to my clients from the http://memory.ucsf.edu/ftd/livingwithftd/practicaltips/alleviating/multiple/hallucinations website. This shows them that I always try to stay on top of things thus showing them that With Age Comes Respect.

The suggestions on that website include:

  1. Avoid arguing or disagreeing with your loved one by denying the hallucination; try to be reassuring and comforting instead.
  2. Avoid pretending you also see/hear the hallucination in order to make your loved one feel better.
  3. It’s okay to say, “I don’t see/hear what you do, but I believe you are seeing/hearing it.”
  4. Try to redirect your loved one from the hallucination to a soothing activity.
  5. Limit environmental activity and noise.
  6. Use a calm quiet approach and create a quiet environment.
  7. Keep areas well lit so things in the room are not misidentified.
  8. Cover glass tables, mirrors and other pieces of furniture that have a high gloss and may create visual disturbances.
  9. Avoid the flickering, changing light of a TV which might prompt hallucinations.
  10. Turn off a television, radio, or computer if you think that is causing the hallucination – your loved one may not be able to tell the difference between entertainment and reality.
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I love Fridays! – (Posted late on 02/21 from 02/19/2016)

Even though Friday is the beginning of my easier days of the week, today was not the best Friday that I have had in quite a while. I never let myself feel ill, but today was a different story indeed.

So that I do not make any one of my clients ill, I decided to take a day of respite for myself. It is not that I did not accomplish a lot, but I hold my accomplishments to a higher level.

Not even one of my clients went unnoticed or was not taken care of today, however. I hold these individuals in high esteem. My job is to show them that no matter how I feel, I believe that they should know that I believe that With Age Comes Respect.

Then, when everything is said and done, and my day is over, I will be able to rest even more, but not before doing billing and taking in dinners and fielding phone calls from clients’ family members. While Fridays are great days of the week for me, they are only the beginning and in order to enjoy what is to come, I have to get through what is right now.

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Today was a day for organization – (Posted late on 02/21 from 02/18/2016)

A client and I had planned to go out and about today after the last couple of days of cleaning and organizing, but age and tiredness took over and instead I got involved in organizing the family VCR (yes, you read right!) and DVD collections. I intend to computerize everything and put it into a booklet so that these great people know what they have available to them, who stars in what and what type of median it is in. The more organized the better for the elderly!

I love to organize. I just feel spectacular knowing that I am making things better, easier for every senior in my sights. It is just another way to display to them that With Age Comes Respect.

My clients realize the depth of my concern. I can actually see it in their eyes; experience it each time I see a smile cross their faces. Then I just know that my love for my clients is the right thing.

Every single thing that I do, I will do for their welfare and well-being. Organizing is just one easy method to show clients just how much I care.

And I certainly do care. I care a lot!

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Things are going quite well these days – (Posted late on 02/21 from 02/17/2016)

When dealing with the elderly, caregivers tend to have to deal with death and depression quite a bit. The depression can be due to many, many factors, one of which is that each day they draw nearer and nearer to death itself. The uncertainty of the actual event can lead to a whole bunch of depression, wouldn’t you think?

Right now my clients are all doing pretty well save for my youngest client. His life has been turned upside down and he has no idea just how in the world to deal with it all. And I can’t blame him even one little iota.

He is literally young and having to deal with health issues that many elders don’t even have to deal with. That would be devastating to say the least – for anyone!

My goal is to show him that I am there for him. Regardless of his age, my mantra of With Age Comes Respect still holds true. After all, he is young, but he is still my elder and I intend to give him the best of everything that I have.

Every person in this world deserves the best that life has to offer. I want to help this client beat his depression and face life head on – no matter what it throws at him.

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Did I mention the great news I received last week? – (Posted late on 02/21 from 02/16/2016)

So, I have been so focused explaining the business end of things lately that I forgot to mention the fact that I have one of the Lutheran Church Charities Comfort Dogs coming in to visit my longest running clients (to date) next Tuesday. I am so very excited about this fact.

What an honor it is going to be to have one of these fantabulous dogs in my midst. I have written about them and met several of them before, but that was in their home setting. I can’t wait to see what the dog will be like in a professional setting. This will be my first opportunity.

When I say that my mantra is With Age Comes Respect, I totally mean it, I believe that With Age Comes Respect. These dogs show respect for each and every individual despite their age, background or need (not that I don’t respect everyone, but my focus is on the elderly).

The best thing about the dog coming in is the fact that this woman and her husband totally miss their Golden Retriever so much and every one of the Comfort Dogs are Golden Retrievers. This opportunity should be really intense and I cannot wait to see just how great it truly is going to be!

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And, Monday rolls around again – (Posted late on 02/21 from 02/15/2016)

One of my sets of clients has not needed any help since Friday morning. Finally, I will be going back to work with them this evening. I will be happy for the work once again.

Even though I love what I do, I still have to make a living. I am certain of one thing though, I regularly lose clients to the throes of death, so I do not like losing them due to a little thing called money.

I will state this here and now. I never have, am not, nor am ever willing to cheat anyone for any purpose – especially elderly individuals. That certainly would not be representing the fact that I believe that With Age Comes Respect now would it?

So, now that brings us to the fact that it is Monday and I am ready, willing and able to service each and every client of mine to the best of my ability. I will continue my service for as long as I possibly can and do so for as many people as I possibly am able to.

How cool is that? Well, if you ask me, I believe that it is totally cool – and I am so excited to see just how this Monday can take me forward to all of the other Mondays yet to come!

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Happy Valentine’s Day to all my clients! – (Posted late on 02/21 from 02/14/2016)

As I stipulated in a past post, Valentine’s Day (to me) is a day of love for the masses. It is a day that I can show my family, friends, and, especially my clients just how much they mean to me.

Although this is an occasion that I want to provide happiness and love to many, I sometimes feel as though I am lost, forgotten soul. This year I did get one whole Valentine box of chocolates from a very sweet 85-year-old woman. At least she remembered me on this day of love!

Forgive my sentimentality. Sometimes I just wish that I was as important to others as they are to me. I guess I am feeling sorry for myself today because although my clients suffer from aches and pains of getting older, at least many of them had the loves of their lives present with them for many years – or still today – showing and telling them how great they are. I was just never that lucky in love. I guess that is why I deem it so darn important to display the fact that to me With Age Comes Respect.

And, even though I am feeling down, I want everyone that is reading this post today to know just how important you are to me – even if I have never met you – because you are reading my post about my passion and all that I deem important. To you all, Happy Valentine’s Day!

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