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Call today! 541-954-2602

Your Personal Senior Living Advisor

Serving Eugene, Springfield and outlying areas

In Their Own Words


The following was written by two women describing their feelings about being caregivers for their loved ones.
Caregiver #1:
"What do you do when you begin to lose patience with your loved one? Do you ever feel like you’re the one who lost their mind? I need space to myself, but it’s not safe to leave my dad alone."


Caregiver #2:
"Excuse my venting. I have to say that I love my mother very much, or I would never have taken on the task of being her caregiver. But right now, I hate this shit. She says very hateful things to me, and I swear she seems to love the cat more than me. She is ungrateful and complains all the time. I know it doesn't sound very nice, but right now I don't like her, and I really don't want to be near her. She makes me resent everything I do for her. But I keep telling myself that one day I will miss her, so I keep plugging along. But right now, I need to have this pity party. I just want my life back."

caregiver burnout 00.jpg
 
When reading those words, I think of my mother. On the one hand, she would never want her children to give up their lives for the demanding job of being her full-time caregiver. On the other hand, wouldn’t I choose to give up my life for a while to care for my wonderful mother?


 
The Caregiver Job Description

 

Would you ever take a job with the following responsibilities?
•    Be yelled at and called horrible names
•    Be accused of stealing
•    Giving up any chance of a full night’s sleep
•    Clean soiled bedding, carpets, and furniture
•    No seeing your friends
•    Spend holidays by yourself
•    Be patient and listen to the same story again and again
•    No seeing your doctor
•    AND DO THIS FOR FREE

Anyone within their right mind would say, "HELL NO!" 

And yet, you took the job! You’re a full-time caregiver for your loved one. That’s YOUR job we’ve described! And you are determined to stick by it come hell or high water.

When I read what those two women wrote about their lives as a caregiver, I would say that they are drowning in that high water. 


Why Did You Become a Caregiver to Your Loved One?

 

There are many reasons why one becomes the primary caregiver for their loved one. You might identify with some of the most common justifications:


•    You are an only child
•    Other family members live farther away 
•    Other family members don’t help. 
•    That’s what family does
•    No on will take care of my loved one like I do
•    You lack the financial resources to hire extra help 
•    Your loved one won't let anyone else into their home 
•    You don't want to let any strangers into your home 
•    You don't trust others to care for your loved one
•    You’ve had bad experiences with hired help 
•    You promised your loved ones you would care for them and never put them in a home 

 

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It’s not unusual for caregivers to feel they’re at the end of their rope. And even though they may be desperately starved for a break, it’s not uncommon that they never get it.

WHY?

Because of the exact same reasons they became a caregiver in the first place. The sense that they are 'the only ones' and they are indispensable.

But in reality, no one is irreplaceable. And no one can be the perfect caregiver, not even you.

 

Are You The Best Caregiver For Your Loved One?

 

Those who work as professional caregivers work eight hour shifts. They have to deal with the same things you are dealing with, but at the end of their shift, they go home. They spend time with friends and family, read a book, take a long uninterrupted shower, , have a good night's sleep, and enjoy their weekends.

This is why they can do their job without experiencing the same burnout you do. This is why they don't need a break. They get a sixteen-hour break every day and two days off during the weekend. 

When you think that no one can take care of your loved one as good as you do, think about all the times you raised your voice, lost your patience, or let your loved one sit idle for hours at a time so that you could get a little rest. The times you fed your loved one junk food because you were too exhausted to cook, you let them stay in wet diapers because you just changed them twenty minutes ago… and the list goes on and on.

True, not every paid hired caregiver is the most professional. There are plenty of people who become caregivers while lacking the experience and compassion that is essential for this job.

caregiver burnout 22.jpg 

But with a little effort, you can find the caregivers who will care for your loved one with the utmost professionalism and compassion. With the right guidance, you can find the right senior care community to provide your loved one with excellent care.

Home Care Vs. Senior Care Community


There are two ways to care for a loved one: at home or in a senior care community.
If you are determined to care for your loved one at home, you must find a way to take time away from your caregiving role once in a while. 

Some ideas for how to give yourself a break:
•    Ask your family members what help they can provide - and be specific It’s harder for someone to refuse or excuse themselves when they’ve committed to a specific task. 
•    Check with your local senior and disability services if your loved one is eligible for Medicaid services (Medical in California). It will pay for caregiver hours. 
•    If your loved one is a veteran or a spouse of a veteran, check for eligibility for pension and Aid and Attendance through the VA.
•    Look for adult daycare for a few hours a week. 
•    Reach out to the faith community you belong to and ask about their social services. 
•    A caregiver, even one that is “not up to your standards,” won't cause any harm during a few hours’ shift. 
•    Look for a senior care community that provides respite care.

If you’d like to explore the possibility of finding a senior care community, I highly recommend that you use the support and guidance of a local senior living advisor. This is often a free service for you. This is preferable to most online placement companies, which will only provide you with a list of only the places they contract with and will often not meet with you in person. 

A local advisor is someone who will meet with you and your loved one face-to-face. They are familiar with the senior care communities in your area and will support you through this stressful and overwhelming process.

When choosing the right senior living advisor, ask them the following questions:
•    What’s your background in the field of geriatrics?
•    Will you meet with me and my loved one in person?
•    What information can you gather to help you advise me?
•    Do you contract with all of the senior care communities in my area?
•    Do I need to sign a contract with you?
•    Will you be touring the senior care communities with us?
•    What is your role after my loved one moved into the senior care community?
•    How do you get paid?

However, if there are no senior living advisors in your area, you can use this free guide to help you through this process. You will find step-by-step instructions on how to go about looking for the right type of senior care community and how to effectively screen the places you visit.

I would also recommend that you contact your local senior and disability services to find what financial benefits your loved one may be eligible for if they need to go on Medicaid.
Unfortunately, in most states, if a person is already on Medicaid, their options of senior care communities are limited. At times, the only option may be a nursing home.

Last Word


There’s more than one way to provide good care to a loved one, and it’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each and every option. There is no right or wrong answer; what works for one family may not work for another. 

This process can be complicated and emotionally stressful. That’s why, when meeting with a client, I personally guide them through this process in an effort to help them find the optimal solution that suits their loved one’s care needs, personal preferences, and financial ability. 

To learn more about our FREE service contact us at (541)954 2602 or www.aHomeToFitYoy.com


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