I believe if all caregivers shared tips and worked together we would have a very powerful resource.

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I posted a few days ago asking for suggestions about how to approach family members as I am a paid caregiver. Yes, I get to go to my own home at night, but I still have issues with being exhausted,stressed,ect.On top of that I have the added pressure of having the family to answer to. My issues are as important as anyone else.. But, like i said, I figured it out. I will confer with her husband who is 84, not in very good health himself, but is still very sharp and able to make decisions. If he says,"I don't know" or "I don't care", I will make reasonabe choices based on common sense and thier welfare and discuss it with him again. You would think as many people as there is on this sight, someone would give me some insight from the families point of view. Thanks for letting me vent.


I'm not sure- WHAT your question IS...??? I'm new the sight, so I don't even know what you posted. Its kinda hard to maneuver around on here. I'm only seeing about six different discussions- surely there's more. If you're talking about the situation about your stress and concerns over this family you're caring for..?? I personally can't see much into it not knowing more about it. Initially, I get that you're stressed and exhausted. Somewhere, there's communication gaps. As long as everyone is understanding of their requirements (their part in this), then it would make YOUR job easier to deal with. If boundaries are crossed, then you need to be compensated. I believe you're on the right track when you say you're going to talk to the husband. Communication is of vital importance to any situation, and yet it is the least common denominator. You said, "family to answer to..??" I would think the husband IS her family. He's the one that counts most- next to HER. But if "the family" is the ones employing you (paying), then yes, they have to be involved. Bummer! And that can make a simple issue very complex! So many "chiefs, not enough indians!" Good luck. Go with your instincts...
I am a caregiver by nature. I don't know what your question was to begin with, but I will say the most important thing you can do as a caregiver is make sure they feel safe. Always ask how are they feeling and always ask is their anything you can do to make them feel more comfortable and at ease in anyway. Always listen to their concerns, their stories and make eye contact. Never let them feel embarrassed by asking questions. It's important that they feel they can trust you and know that you are their for them.
Good Luck ! I am pursuing a nursing career and taking care of a lady with dementia. I have moved in with her for now since, she doesn't feel safe alone. There's more. Talking with the family I always ask is their anything I can do to make this easier and we talk about the progressioin of the disease and what to expect next. Keep your head up, and give lots of hugs and know in your heart you are doing a good thing.
I am a professional care giver and human as any one else who discusses things on here as to understanding things professionally and personally. I have to ask what is exactly the problem you are trying to get help with? Please be specific so all can understand your problem and maybe offer the correct insight to you. Being a professional care giver does not mean you always have the right insight to things, but often does help when you deal with different human relation issues as a care giver and a human being. Restate your problem or issue as a care giver needing advice and be specific. I do know professonalisim is key at all times as getting emotions involved can some times not be good. I have delt alot with private duty care and families and very well versed in this area. I have delt with some difficult situations as not all families conduct themselves in the same fasion. What direct problem is causing you stress?
Hi, this is Norma again, I posted a question a few weeks ago and you were very helpful, I have another question but first I will tell a little about myself. I am 58 yrs old, i have one brother living close by and another on the west coast and one who is deceased. I have been very close to my parents, they were/are the best parents anyone could have had. Last year my father got sick, he was hospitalized in September 07, diagnosed with myeloma cancer and celebrated his 84th birthday 15 days later and four days later I found him in bed, early in the morning, he had passed away, the drs. had told us we would have one to two years with him.
I was very devastated as I didn't expect this so soon. I had quit my job earlier in August,to care for both my parents, after my father passed, Mom went downhill so quickly, they were married over 62 years, and did everything together. The dr. has diagnosed her with mild dementia. I moved into my mother's home to care for her because she also has arthritis in her back, neck, and her wrists and her knees. I have noticed recently that when my husband and I take her away she gets very nasty with me when we get home, and if we go away at night, which we do not do often, she gets very confused and verbally attacks me. I am about at my wits end with this reaction, she loves to go away,her and dad went away a lot when he was living. My brother does very little to help out,last week I told him not to worry about giving me a break,as it gives me more time to be with my mom.He would always call me a few days before the weekend and tell me they are doing this and that and won't be up,then he asks me if we have plans. How considerate is that. I told him how can we make plans when he does that to me, (they go on vacations,and out to eat and parties and to movies and anything else). I can't even go out to eat with my husband or shopping or to see my grandchildren without taking mom along all the time. Mom has trouble getting in and out of vehicles. Anyway, I must have gotten to him because he called me last Friday and said they could watch mom for a few hours on Sat. We took mom down there in the eve. and went shopping. They only give me four and maybe six hour break a week if I am lucky, that was the first they watched mom in a month and I don
Some times I notice that certain family members are reluctant to participate in a loved ones care. It may be because some siblings are not sure what to do, maybe because thay are not as close to one parent or the other as the other child is. I Know I see many different types of families, how ever certain things are so similiar between all of them. Mom having mild dementia is more than likely going to inherit some difficulities that need to be contended with on a on going basis. I will say that there is programs, family training sessions with professionals that offer ways to train to deal with it. These training methods actually make it easier. This could be a good step that your brother is starting to slowly participate some with your mom, because no matter what training or other resources you inherit, you and your husband to need some time to one another. Maybe your brother needs reasurance or over come his possible fear of mom being older and afraid to deal with it. Even though I am a guy, I will say because more women are the ones to do the care giver role than men it is because I feel the way god made us. Some men are good as a women, but most often it is the women that is the care giver role. You can help your brother by encouragement and helping him to feel as important to mom and what he is doing is good even if it is at a slowe pace. If things go well his wife will understand this and participate to. I know there is no concrete answer and these matters are never easy to handle, but I do know from experience professionally and personally IT's is how we handle matters. I hope this offers some encouragement. I do not want to seem as a know it all, it's just offering what I have learned. You do learn these things dealing with it so often. Thanks
Hi MedicalMan1

You do realize that the primary purpose of this site is for family caregivers - which means the unpaid family members who do everything - to talk freely amongst our selves. .I am certain that you mean well, but if you are not taking care of your own family member and talking about your own issue, perhaps it might be more appropriate to start your own blog.

This is not meant unkindly - but really, it is different when you are on the other side of the fence. I personally feel frustrated when people who identify themselves as 'professionals' start posting. Maybe others won't agree, but I see this site as a safe haven where family members can share without having others weigh in.
hi cat, this is lindam and i asked a question afew days ago about how to go about getting family members more involved in day to day issues with my client. I never meant any disrespect to families that never get a break from thier family member.I felt this was the place I could go to get the families point of view. And yes, I am a paid caregiver, but there are days I am at my wits end , exhausted mentally, depressed. I am sure it is nowhere the same as 24 hr. care. My heart goes out to any family member that has to remain calm, constantly be reassuring, work on not taking things personal. I do this and I get to go home and there are days I feel like not ever returning but I do.If I did not care about this woman and her husband I would not care if the family participated or not. I would love to see my client have a better quality of life, and can not get the family to listen to me. As a family member who is exhausted, how would you like to be approached by a paid caregiver? What should I contact you about and what should I try to figure out myself? I have approached the primary family member and have been talked down to, put off, and put on her waiting list. There is no GOOD time to contact her as she always has a crisis of some sort. Thank God the family is financially situated to pay for full time help. My heart goes out to all of you contending with a loved one in these circumstances. But if this was MY mother, there are many ways I would handle things differenly. And by that I mean if I was caring for my own mother and she needed med changes, it would get taken care of. So if this is not an appropriate place for me to get help for my situation, can you suggest another sight or point me in a direction that would possibly help. Even tho I am paid, I still feel the same as many of you, and hope I did not offend anyone. I will continue to post on this sight and try to be reassuring to others. Please let me hear from you
Hi Lindam -

First off, I hope that you saw in my post I was not addressing YOU - everyone can see that you are coming from the same place as family - it was directed at the other poster "medicalman1" - who has not shared anything personal, and seemed to me to be using this forum for the sole purpose of give advice as a "professional" - which is not what it is for....we all want to be heard. My point was that he really wasn't on the same wavelength and might not belong (at least in my mind)

when I read your first & subsequent posts, I thought that you sounded like you are one of us -its not just a job to you. You care and that makes you one of us / paid or family. I appreciated reading your posts and although I was tied up & didn't respond, felt for you - because your issues are similar to ours. You give me faith that there are people on the other side of caregiving who feel the same about their patients and that we are all in it together. I applaud what you are saying and think that all you can do is document and hand your documentation to either the family - or if you are through a registry, ask your DON for help in taking to family.

I am glad that you found this site - and hope you will continue to share & post. we are all in it together.

Take care
Dear Lindman,

Have you checked with a social worker or anyone who can help you out by giving you a break or something. I didn't have anyone to talk too but after the fact I found out I could have talked to someone, about my brothers and sister, someone who was impartial. I ready to tell them all to go to h..., I was exhausted, burned out, stress beyond capacity, I just wanted to punch something, frustration became a second response to me. I just prayer as I get older, my children have learned from me what I went through and won't do the same. I would go in my car and drive the highway and scream till I couldn't speak, it helped, plus I would talk with myself, no didn't answer myself back, but I would rehearse things regardless if I was going to use it or not, it helped me a great deal. Good Luck to You!!!!!!!!! Kim
lindam and medicalman, I calue your perspectives and appreciate your sharing the other side of the coin as paid caregivers. The only thing I feel as a relative who is a caregiver is that if an individual is paid, the unstated rule is that you are paid at the market rate to do whatever it takes to get the job done. That said, of course some paid caregivers like you and medicalman are sensitive, and the work is exhausting, whether paid or unpaid. It is also thankless, whether paid or unpaid, but your reward is financial, first and foremost. If the work gets to be too much, it may be time to seek a less challenging client. That is not said in sarcasm. There is such a thing as burnout in any profession and if you are there, you need to put your emotional health and wellbeing first. The family can pay someone else, but there is only one you. It is literally back-breaking work! I know as I am a caregiver to my Mom, which I love, and also recognize its challenges.

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