When we exchange vows and state “in sickness and in health”, many of us take that vow literally. In practice, very few are prepared for the demands of being a full-time caregiver.
When Sophia called my CarePatrol office, she had been taking care of her husband for 5 years. Recently his condition had deteriorated, and the physical demands had become overwhelming. After transferring her husband to his wheelchair on a trip to the grocery store, a well-intentioned stranger told her it was nice to see her care for her husband that way, and said it must be very rewarding.
Rewarding was not the word Sophia would use to describe her experience. She loves her husband, but she hates being a caregiver. Her mornings are spent getting Tom out of bed, toileting, showering, dressing and feeding. Days are filled with doctor’s appointments, diaper changes, scooter repairs, rehabs, battling insurance companies and trips to the ER. Her laundry piles up and she is afraid to leave the house for fear Tom will need her. Nights are no better as she gets him ready for bed. Her life is full of frustration, pain, depression and exhaustion.
None of us plan on getting sick. None of us ask to be a caregiver. It just happens. Sophia is an amazing woman that is now battle-scarred like many caregivers. She has become an expert on navigating the healthcare system, and her husband could not have a better advocate. But, she has reached her breaking point.
When Sophia called my office, she needed help. She may have waited too long, but she would not have done it any other way. She rattled off a list of her husband’s needs. I slowed her down. I wanted to know how she was doing. “Caregiving stinks” was her only response. As I developed a relationship with the family, a Care Plan came together as we found an ideal assisted living facility to provide for Tom’s needs. All of his activities of daily living would be taken care of – bathing, grooming, dressing, meal preparation, medication management and more. This also allowed Sophia to return to being a wife that looks out for her husband, as opposed to being a full-time caregiver.
Helping people like Sophia make informed choices is what we do every day. We are also here to bring you hope, because we know the senior care industry, and no one is better at helping seniors and their families than CarePatrol.
Please call if you need help finding care for a senior. You can reach your local CarePatrol office at 866-560-5656.