Continue Reading Great Caregiver Article- and some irony?" />

Great Caregiver Article- and some irony?

by Louis on May 12, 2009

Paula Span wrote a great article about caregivers in this Sunday’s Washington Post magazine. Marilyn Daniel’s Reward combines the facts and the emotions of clients and caregivers quite deftly. Caregivers are already a critical resource that will grow more critical as the boomers need assistance. The story is clear: Caregivers are working really hard for a reward that is not money. The second story is how determined clients are to stay in their homes. She has a book When The Time Comes: Families with Aging Parents Share Their Struggles and Solutions coming out soon.

The article centers on one caregiver, Marilyn Daniels. Span describes the energy Daniel lavishes on her own home on her days off. Span points out: the work on her home nets lasting improvement while her care clients are all declining. I see another lesson. We all love our homes. I bet Daniel will want to Age in Place as much as her clients.

The irony I saw when I opened my Sunday paper this week is not apparent reading the article on line. In the print edition an eight page special advertising section called Retirement Horizons is embedded after the the first pages of the article. The beautiful and happy people pictured in the ads paint a much different story than those we see in the article and pictures. The contrast speaks pretty clearly. “Move here and you will smile like these happy folks.”

Is this product placement like we see in the movies? Is this different than resort ads in the quarterly travel issue? Or an education or camp story in those seasons? Google ads on the Washington Post page are related, but I have come to expect (and ignore?) that. Regardless, there could not have been a better juxtaposition to make me think about the place our homes have in our hearts.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Anonymous October 5, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Thank you for the great article. I am a certified caregiver and I currently work in the special care unit at an assitted living facility. I am 28 years old and the youngest employee. I can tell you that being a caregiver is hard work for very little pay. I would love to work in private care but I have young children and need the health benifits that I recieve at my current job. As a caregiver at a facility I work under very stressful conditions. Such as being under constant pressure to move fast, use little supplies, and NEVER clock any overtime hours. I never take a lunch break but always have to clock out for it. I clock out and then go shower a resident then clock back in. My back hurts every night and sometimes I cry on my way home because I feel so fustrated. I can't brush every residents teeth because not every resident has atooth brush. I am always taking from one resident to give to another. I feel terrible taking things like breifs but if a resident has none, I have no choice. I take care of 16 residents alone. I am always rushing them and that is so sad. I always feel guilty for not being able to spend more quality time with them. But there is always someone eles who needs my help more. Last night, I was thrown across the room by an angry resident and I was scared he wasgoing to assult me. I was alone with ALL the residents when this happened. I was even more afraid when a female resident attempted to come to my aide. I didn't want her to get thrown or hit.I told her everything was fine and to sit back down. I was able to talk him into going to his room but I was afraid the rest of the night. This job is so hard but when I am not at work I think of my residents and when I am at work I do my best to better their lives. I, along with my co-workers , do the best we can with what we have. Once a resident fell in the bathroom and cut his head open. After I called 911 and he went to the hospital, I had to clean up the blood. I did this with gloves that are to big for my hands, bath towels and baby wipes. Thats it. I had nothing else to clean up a pool of blood. So fustrating. But my residents love me and when I get to work they swarm me. I always hug and kiss them at night, pray when they ask or need it and always smile. Good caregivers are caregivers simply because we care.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: