Deciding on a caregiver was quite stressful for me. I just had so much going through my mind about it that I couldn’t think about much else. I knew Mom needed someone to help with her daily routine but I had trouble figuring out a schedule – after all, this is the first time I’ve done this.
So… after talking it through with my husband and really giving it a lot of thought about what would work best for all of us, we decided to try having someone come in during the day while my husband and I are the busiest. Now all we had to do was figure out who to call to find the right person.
I talked with my mom’s primary doctor to see if he had any suggestions; I talked with a gentleman we know who runs two assisted living houses; I called numerous agencies to get information on the who, what, when and how much; and I talked with a caregiver we had when my husband and I went away. One thing I did learn is that it was going to be expensive having someone come in eight hours a day, seven days a week – most agencies charge between $18.00 – $26.00 per hour.
After more talks with my husband, we decided to give the caregiver we had when we went away a try – her name is Sue. Sue has been working in the caregiving industry for many years and has about five caregivers working with her as well. So Mom will have one main caregiver and others that fill in at times.
OK, so we’ve figured out the who, the when and the how much, now we have to figure out the what… meaning what do we need the caregiver to do to help with Mom’s daily routine? My mom is so particular about everything and she has a real problem having strangers in her life. She’s never be very sociable and definitely has some OCD going on, which is going to make things a bit touchy having a strange person in her life who wants to “help”.
So we’re going to “ease” Mom into this new situation. She was not a happy camper about the whole thing but considering all her options would be uncomfortable, this is the best uncomfortable option we have.
What I Learned: Dealing with an ageing parent is not easy; especially when it comes to handing them over to someone else.
No… not for me – for Mom. Sometimes I think it’s time to get a caregiver to come in and help her. There are days when she doesn’t seem to need help and then there are days when she does. I’m a little stressed about it because I don’t know how to handle it. Should I hire someone to come in every day, even on the days when Mom is able to do everything on her own? Do I have someone come during the day only or day AND night?
I’ve used an agency in the past when my husband and I have gone away for an extended period of time and that has worked out alright. Mom always puts up a fight about us leaving her and really packs on the guilt trip, but I am adamant about living my life and spending time away with my husband. When taking in an elderly parent I feel it is so important to try to live your life the way you want. If you want to including your parent in your life all the time that’s fine, but if you want to live your life and include them sometimes, like I do, then that’s OK too.
Let’s be real here… I spend time with Mom every day. Honestly, it’s becoming more often than I expected but I’m alright with that. I know when to put the brakes on and I know when I need to get away and spend time with my husband. Believe me, it takes practice to say “no” to Mom but I have to so my life can be less stressful.
So, back to the question… Should I get help? Having a caregiver come in is expensive – anywhere from $18 to $25 an hour! Of course I haven’t looked into the rate for someone to come in on a regular basis – maybe you get a price break if they are coming on a weekly basis…. hmmm, I’ll look into that and let you know. And will having someone around all the time just mean that now I have to keep an eye on them as well? I’m not too crazy about having a stranger in our personal space all the time, but what are my options? I know Mom does not want to leave and stay in an assisted living situation and I’d rather not have that either, but it may come to that if I feel she needs that type of care.
What a dilemma. I guess I’ll call around and get some info and see about making a decision in the near future. I’ll keep you posted!
What I Learned: This is a situation that needs careful thought and planning – it will definitely affect all of us.
We talked to Mom about the senior facility around the corner – she knew people who had lived there and thought it was a nice place. I’m pretty sure looking at it will make her realize that she doesn’t have a lot of options here. So Mom agreed to go look at it with us – I think for more of an outing than a place to live – but we thought we’d give it a shot.
As soon as we stepped into the lobby of the senior facility I got a sick feeling in my stomach. Sure it was a beautiful building and well kept, but unfortunately for me, seeing elderly people sitting in wheel chairs all alone made me feel bad for Mom. I never thought of her being that old or dependent. So, we met with the Director in her office who explained how everything worked, and it all sounded great. Then I looked at Mom and she had this look on her face that said, “Do you really want to dump me here?” Talk about feeling guilty! But we continued on the tour and checked out the apartments (which were obviously much smaller than Mom is used to), and went into the dining room, library and courtyard. Mom was quiet the whole time.
And to make matters worse, just before we left, the Director pulled me aside and told me I better get Mom a walking aid because she was very unstable on her feet and would probably fall. I can’t believe I didn’t even notice or think about that! I’m pretty sure Mom thought she was just fine, being so independent and all. Not only do I have to figure out how to help Mom, now I’ve got to worry about her falling.
Well, that “outing” sure didn’t go well – there was no way Mom would move there. So much for that plan!
What I Learned: Be sensitive to their feelings.