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We dedicate ourselves to clients and when the assignment we are not needed. ): What I am asking is....when the assignment is over, even if we've been the sole source of care for a year or more.....we are no longer needed. We are not their "family." The sense of being irrelevant....not connected is affecting my heart lately. I have a wonderful family. It just wouldn't occur to me to be that cold and disconnected to a care giver we might have in our family.

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blessedbe, this can be tough for both sides, I do understand. If you are no longer needed that means either the client had passed on, moved out of the area, or moved into a continuing care facility. The family is overwhelmed.

I have been overwhelmed since my Dad recently moved into IL/AL, with arranging the move, trying to find out what he wants to move and what stays with the house to sell at an Estate sale, and for me trying to dejunk the house prior to the Estate sale, to call a cleaning crew, to calling junk hauling service for what is left, oops need to call an Appraiser, deal with all those change of addresses, and finally get the house on the market. We have no time even to talk to our own relatives or friends during this transition. Plus deal with the grief of my Mom passing just prior to this.

It wasn't easy for me to call the Agency to have less days and less hours for the Caregivers. But I had to keep telling myself this is a business arrangement because twice a month there is a large bill to pay the Agency. These wonderful gals work with other clients during the week, not only my Dad.
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The entire basis for the relationship is gone when the person you cared for transitions.
But let me say that I thank you for being who you are and doing what you do and for the huge emotional burden you carry. A big hug for you.
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Yes, there is a hole there, I feel it when I go to visit a patient at the nursing home and they are moved, or they passed. Nobody tells the Ombudsman, you just get to the room and someone else is in the bed. So I gather my thoughts and introduce myself to a new resident.
I used to do wildlife rehabilitation. The hardest part was watching them fly away free. They didn't look back, freedom beats first in the heart of all things wild.
So when a patient dies, I remind myself that they are free now.
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Blessed, it can work both ways. My mom had a woman who came in once a week for many, many years. Her daughters were the same age as mom's grandson's and they used to joke about fixing them up, she seemed almost like another daughter. When that lady retired she mostly disappeared from our lives. I think bottom line is it's just like you said, you are not "family", and however close the relationship is between you and the person you are caring for, when they no longer need you there is no place for you with the extended family.
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