I am so excited to announce I got another job! Yea! It’s through another company that does caregiving/companion services and I will get the opportunity to move up in the company! In case anyone’s keeping score that will make 2 part-time jobs caregiving and will hopefully free me up to write more and earn more doing all of the things I love! That includes being the absolutely fabulously graceless crazy mama to the boy too!
It’s a small step but it is a step in the right direction! Being able to get back on the road to hopefully fully support us again is huge. I am so deeply grateful to my mama and friends who help me out but oh mah lawd I cannot tell you how this independent maotic human prefers to help others than to have to ask for help.
I still get to work with my Miss Candy and our knitting, shopping, pool adventures! That’s one of the best parts for me is to get to keep one of the things I love doing. Plus, you spend so much time with someone and they begin to feel like family. You trust each other and come to rely on how things work when you’re working together.
As I was going through the new employee orientation the things we cannot do are highlighted. Be on our cell phones, invite family and friends along, bring your pet, borrow money – to me something I would never do anyway but I understand, especially when you are sitting with someone who sleeps often or has Alzheimer’s and says, “Oh I don’t mind, invite/bring do whatever you want you’re family, dear.”
First of all, you go in knowing your client’s conditions. What they need, what the family wants, and how to work on their schedule. If you are working with a client with Alzheimer’s who is still cognitive and can talk about many things and sounds “normal” to you but then says something completely off like, “We should go to my house in the mountains you would love it.” This person is being completely genuine and in that moment, knows you both would have a good time. You probably would. But the point of your caring for them is so they don’t book tickets, make arrangements for these kinds of things. Most likely the family is paying for their care, yes out of their funds, but it is your job to help them day to day and that includes the trust of making sure things are in their best interest. Not yours.
I have had patients and clients ask me to go everywhere with them, offer to pay for things, and tell me to bring my pets, my boy and my friends and family over. All very well meaning, however I am doing a job. My job is just more personal than some. After all, I admit I have an attachment with these people. I also realize I am caring for them and responsible for them. I am not bringing my life, family and business to work.
They can persist in their asking and this usually involves me “redirecting” them. Redirecting is a term used in healthcare for doing what it says, redirecting that person into another conversation gently. Sometimes you have to say, “I would love to do that but I just don’t know when I could go as I have so much going on. That is so nice of you to ask me.” If they keep persisting, I will let the family know and keep going with the, “I wish I could go and I thank you but right now isn’t a good time.” One gentleman I worked with asked me for 4 months straight, always forgetting he had asked me before, to go home with him to see the family. The bus stop was just down the road and it wasn’t a long trip! With him I always said, “We will see” knowing he wouldn’t remember asking me earlier.
You also are not allowed to share your life with the client per se. It is fine to say you have a child, partner, pets, etc. but you do not share your drama, your needs or your complaints. As far as they are concerned your life is peachy keen. Yes, this may seem drastic and untrue, but really, it is not their business to know that your ex whatever is a jerk and not doing what they need to do, or that you are short on your bills or anything of the like. Again you are there to do a job. It still amazes me that people in this industry continuously cross that line. Talking with the office manager we both agreed if you are experienced you know where the line is. Sometimes it can be a fine line on a rough day but you do not cross it. Ever. It could cost you that job just by saying something too personal.
People think that it is so easy to just take care of someone. That it is a “cush” job and there is no skill or thought about it. It isn’t high paying, which is sad because these are human beings and people have no idea the challenges you can face taking care of folks. Maybe for some people it’s easy and they feel there is no skill involved and don’t care about the money, they will find “perks” from their clients. Those are the folks I would not want to take care of me and mine!
This line of work isn’t for everyone. I know that. It is hard to form relationships with people who can’t always remember you, challenge you and even yell at you sometimes. In other instances it is hard caring for someone you know is not going to be on this earth much longer. Because you can’t help but care and you have formed a bond with them, their passing is hard on you. If they are blessed, you have also formed bonds with some of their family and once that “case is closed” you are working another “case” and “moving on.” But it isn’t always so simple. You go into this knowing the outcome for clients and patients. You tell yourself you will, of course, give them your best, but you will not let yourself get attached in any way to that person. Then you do. You can’t help it because it isn’t in your nature. At least it is that way for me. I love being able to care for people. Even those who are dying. I have often seen and experienced some of the most awe inspiring lessons from those “cases”. I cried with the families and I have cried with the staff when the patient has no family. I know that I did the best I could for them while they were in my care. Even for a brief period of time.
So to say that I am happy about this new job is an understatement. I am once again doing what I love. I just pray it helps pay the bills and I can keep these two caregiving jobs, write and hopefully get paid all while caring for the boy.
After all, my motto Keep Hope Alive seems to be working!
Have a fabulous day!