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My caregiving started with my elderly parents who spent six months a year with me in Tucson. My mother had been diagnosed with dementia. They spent eleven winters with me and the summers near my brothers in Minnesota. Seven years ago a close friend asked me to be with her father while she was at work. He also had dementia and could no longer be at home alone at all. His daughters working schedule was ten to fourteen hour days four days each week. I would go to her home before she left for work. I would administer his medications, fix his meals, shower with him (I was in shorts and a tee shirt) shave and supervise teeth brushing and dressing. Some days I would take him to a day program for a few hours and then bring him to my home until his daughter picked him up when she was done working. As he declined I needed to be with him every minute to keep him from wandering off or going to the bathroom in the proper place, etc. I took care of him for over four years. My most recent care experience was with an elderly couple. I had been referred to their daughter by a mutual friend. Her mother had been diagnosed with dementia and the family wanted to keep their parents in their own home as long as possible. Their Mother had been ill and had lost a great deal of weight. I really needed to concentrate on how to get her to eat. I won by serving healthy, attractive meals and distracting her with conversation while she ate. She gained twenty pounds in two years.
Hello there! Thank your for taking the time to read a little bit about myself. I understand how overwhelming it could be for you and your family at this point. I also understand the emotional rollercoaster you all are enduring at this point trying to find the right fit for your loved one. Are you choosing the right person? Are they trustworthy? Are they reliable? I get it. The transition in itself is hard to accept at times. One minute everything is running smoothly, and the next, you are having to scramble and find help but don't know where to start, don't know if you're doing the right thing. You will read how many yrs one has been caregiving, how much experience they have. Is it all true? Or are they just making themselves look good so you can pick that one person. One can have all the experience in the world, but have no compassion. I can sit here and tell you how much experience I have and that I've been a CNA for 22 yrs. And I can also tell you that this has been my passion. But how will you know? Honestly, yes, it's great to know that some of us are telling you the truth about our background. That's what's scary about all this. Having that one, or few, that are actually compassionate about what they do and experience they have. The only way you will know is by meeting them, whether it be in person, or over the phone. Anyone one that is compassionate about their career choice, will stand out by the way they talk about what they do for a living. You will hear the sincerity in their voice and their smile. Picking the right one (ones) will also make it easy to transition into your new chapter. I know a "bio" is supposed to be about me, but I just felt I needed to give you some advice on all of this. Take care and good luck!