Caregiving Stories

There is an old saying that something hasn't really happened until you've told someone else about it.

Caregiverlist offers a section for Caregivers to submit their caregiving stories because it is always interesting to learn how someone was led to caregiving as a career or became the chosen one in their family to provide the care.

Research indicates that the oldest daughter typically takes the role of caregiver for parents.  Sometimes a brother, sister or spouse needs care and someone becomes the caregiver out of necessity.

Last summer my cousin's husband fell off their roof while performing repairs (well, he actually fell from the ladder that fell from the roof).  Luckily, he only broke both shoulders.  As both of his arms had to be in a sling, this meant he couldn't feed himself nor provide his own personal care for bathing and toileting.  His wife worked during the day which meant he had to have family members and a paid Caregiver be there for him to help with meals and bathroom visits each day.  He told me that you think you understand what it must be like for those who are aging, but until you really need someone else to pull your pants down and wipe your behind, you have no idea how difficult it is to lose such a basic independence (he did however, develop some new skills during this time, including how to operate a tv remote-control with his feet)!

Caregivers provide much more than physical care and this leads to both challenges and closer connections.  Sometimes those needing care will allow a non-family member to get closer to them because they don't want their loved ones taking on the role of caregiver. And other times, someone needing care takes all their anger about their condition out on their caregiver.

Read about experiences other caregivers have had and share your own with us in our Caregiving Stories section.


 

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Comments (5) -

  • Jess V.

    6/12/2008 11:11:24 AM | Reply

    I just spent some time in the Caregiving Stories Section of your website and some of the personal essays and pictures moved me to tears. It's great to hear about other people who have gone through a similar experience that I have. I will definitely be back to read more in the future. Thanks.

  • Renee J.

    6/17/2008 1:49:58 AM | Reply

    I know what you mean, Jess. Sometimes I feel so isolated in what I do, that it's nice to know that I'm really not alone. These stories not only inspire me, but they give me great comfort as well.

  • Kelly H.

    7/17/2008 9:03:53 PM | Reply

    As a Caregiver, you just never know what you will be needed to do and you just have to dig deep and do what is needed and the feeling of satisfaction after you have done it is beyond words.  Thank you for providing a place for us to come for info.

  • karen

    10/10/2008 12:58:58 PM | Reply

    My husband I have his father living with us.  We have four children ages 11-19, all currently living at home.  My father-in-law has dementia.  He has been with us a little over a year and it has been much more difficult than I anticipated.  The reality is that my husband works full-time, I work part-time, therefore most of the care falls on me.  Trying to maintain the home, take care of the kids and fatherinlaw has become very stressful.  I am looking for ideas on how to keep doing this while maintaining an emotionally healthy family.  We try to keep a good sense of humor throughout which has helped, but that can't get us through everything.  He goes to elder care while I work but then I pick him up just about the same time the kids get out of school.  I will happily take any suggestions.  Thanks

  • Katie Deming

    10/11/2008 3:02:37 AM | Reply

    I think it helps if you can find a way to get him involved in an activity that will give him a break from the family and give the family a break - there is always a different dynamic with non-family members.  I am not sure where you are located but support groups can be very helpful when you are caring for a senior with dementia.

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