What situations have you encountered? Keep vague. No names mentioned. Do you find you are asked to care for the difficult? We appreciate you more than you know. But sometimes, the jobs you face...

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I was paid more by Judy’s family, but they came to me with that, I hadn’t even thought to ask. The average rate for private care in Austin is probably $13-$15 and hour, no overtime paid. I was paid $20, but I think that was because of the huge responsibility inherent in running the thing as well as caregiving. In the Waco area the going rate is more like $10-$12 an hour. I asked for $15 for a couple of reasons. I work during my hours. If my client doesn’t need assistance I clean, cook, refill meds, or do whatever needs to be done. I research their meds and varied diagnoses because I feel responsible for their health and well-being . It does help to be paid more, and it does help to be paid!
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I am a really good and conscientious caregiver. I haven’t had to look for work yet because I am contacted regularly by people who have witnessed my caregiving first hand. I don’t know if that has anything to do with the type of people that I care for, but I suspect that it does. My last client was very challenging, and had problematic relationships with her adult children. Her sons knew me as a friend, and asked me to hire, train, and manage caregivers for 24/7 care for their mother. However, they did not tell me of the opiate addiction, the untreated bipolar issue, or the myriad of other personality issues that complicated the job until I discovered them for myself. After 2 months and 2 overdoses I figured out that she had to have a stash of pain meds somewhere in addition to what we were administering. I asked for permission to search, and it was granted, with the suggestion to search the closet. There were bags of pills in her shoe boxes, underwear drawer, shoes and boots. They were in OTC containers. There were boxes of boxes of Fentanyl patches. Her kids, her Humana Case Manager and her GP supported me as I got that under control. After the stashes were all found and removed, she went through these manic stages where she wouldn’t sleep for 4 or 5 days, then crash hard usually with a UTI. She was finally treated for the bipolar issues. The dementia magnified so many difficult behaviors. Her eldest son opened up to me about 7 months into the job and told me that none of the kids could care for her because she was so toxic, but they loved her, so they hired me to do what they could not. She could be brutal to the other 3 caregivers because she wanted me all of the time. Every few weeks I had to remind her that she needed to behave in order for the whole thing to continue. Seven caregivers either walked out or were fired in a 15 month period. She died peacefully at home, with her two favorite sons, my best caregiver and myself at her side. It was beautiful. Her children’s gratitude has been overwhelming and incredible. The caregivers and myself who stuck it out did so because she was well aware that her loved ones could not deal with her, and even though she never changed one iota, that realization caused her quite a bit of pain. I loved her, but wasn’t raised in her dysfunction so I could set boundaries. I was the eyes, ears, and hearts of her children, giving her the loving care that they could not. It was pretty heavy, but I never perceived that until she passed. I just realized that my new job is very similar. Everyone in this guy’s life keeps him at arms length because he is offputting, arrogant, and controlling. His wife and only child are dead. There are no grandchildren, only an elderly cousin remaining. The cousin, and a handful of friends want good care for him, but cannot or will not get too close. They are all a bit afraid of him I think, and there is a great deal of money involved so no one wants to make him mad and risk losing an inheritance. I guess this is what makes my job so challenging. I am tasked with loving and caring for people who have lost the love of their families for many complicated reasons.
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