Life as a Care Giver

Auguste Deter. Alois Alzheimer's patient in No...

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Firstly, I haven’t been doing this long. But I spent the past few months completing my training, with certificates in First Aid, Health & Safety, Movement & Handling etc. Then I began my mentoring, so I am still not “flying solo”, but I learn from watching/helping the people whom have been carers for much longer.

Today I felt choked up, it was my first time at Mrs Anonymous’s house (Patient confidentiality of course). She has Multiple Sclerosis, and paralysis on one side, meaning she is wheelchair bound and can only use one arm. Not to mention the fact she is 90-something years old, with severe arthritis that curls her toes and fingers into gnarled roots. The discomfort she is constantly in is little eased by medications and prescription creams.

She lives completely alone, with no pets. Pays for her own care, rather than accepting benefits, so perhaps she had a wealthy past. The radio is her friend once we serve her meal and say goodbye, leaving a cup of Earl Grey in the microwave for her like she instructs. She is meticulous, extremely specific in what she wants, even where you place her hairbrush, because this is the only control or power she has left. It’s heartbreaking. Reminds me of my grandmother somewhat, which was the main reason I wanted to do senior care, except my grandmother has Alzheimer’s, and this lady, Mrs Anonymous, seems mentally sharp despite the M.S. But isn’t that the worst part? To be mentally alert but trapped in a crippled body, like a butterfly with broken wings.

Why am I writing this post? I guess I just wanted to give you a glimpse into what caring is really about, and would ask anyone whose grandparents are still alive, to please visit them, take care of them. No one should have to be alone like Mrs Anonymous.

4 responses

  1. I think what you’re doing with the elderly is beautiful, so often they are forgotten. One of the saddest things to me is an old person having to be alone most days. It kind of scares me about aging but makes me feel for my grandparents and older people I know. I watch a lot of Grey’s Anatomy and any time they have an episode where an old couple gets separated by death and disease or an old person dies, I’m weeping like a baby. It’s hard to process but people like you make a lot of older people happy at least part of the day and I think that’s wonderful. :)

    • Thank you Nina, I do hope people like me can cheer them up for at least part of their day, but it still upsets me that they’re alone. I find the same thing happening to me when I watch Grey’s, and am always terrified of ending up old and alone, I feel like no one should have to be alone unless it’s truly what they want. I’m sure your grandparents can see how much you care as well, so I think that is wonderful too =)

  2. Wow, it’s so great what you’re doing! I wanted to volunteer at a Rape Crisis center. I filled out the forms and all that, but I wasn’t able to give everything in on time. I hope to do it at some point, though the place I wanted to volunteer is somewhat far from where I live now.

    Reading this has made me think about it a lot more, and maybe I can just make it work anyway! Thanks for the added inspiration. : )

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