Should I become a CNA to help my elderly dad with my bedridden mom? - AgingCare.com

Should I become a CNA to help my elderly dad with my bedridden mom?

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While he is a very strong and healthy 78-year-old, being a full-time caregiver will probably very hard for him over time. She just came home, and they intend to keep her there for as long as possible. I am able to help a few times each week, but I can tell there is A LOT we don't know. I can start an intensive CNA program in a couple weeks...is it worth it?

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I forgot one thing, in NJ , CNA's are required to take 12 hours of Continuing Education which is usually done in the facility where you work. I don't know about other states requirements.
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I was a CNA, it was 4 month class plus clinical hours. After the hours are completed you take a State skills test done usually in the classroom, then you take a written test(done on computer). If you don't pass the State test you don't take written test. Your certification renews every two years and must be working to renew, at least in New Jersey, Supervisor must sign paperwork. You will have to pass background check usually before class starts.
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Here is one problem with a single CNA taking care of someone. They work together as a team for any care involving lifting because a single person can injure themselves. Helping care for your mom as compared to contracted service means that you carry insurance if you get injured. But at least you will learn about how to do it safely.
What you will not learn about is disease processes like COPD and how to treat or when it is time to go to the ER.
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I hope someone who has taken the classes will respond!
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Thank you for your responses!

I have no more little ones at home and just work part-time, so I am in a position to help them out. My mom has COPD from 40 years of smoking, and it took her to being in the hospital several times and now being bedridden and on oxygen 24/7 to finally quit. She's about 100 pounds overweight and has chronic pain, so attempts at rehab have only been minimally successful. Before, we were able to get her to stand up in a walker then wheel her to the bathroom to use the toilet/bath, but even after rehab, that isn't possible. They have too much money for Medicaid (for now) but I can see that running out in a heartbeat. She was just released to be home, and although my dad is trying his best, I can see the toll it is taking on him already. And he is just not prepared (who is??). A nurse is arranged to come a few times a week for now, but Medicare only pays for so long. She is also using a catheter. I'll look into a CNA for respite...thanks for the suggestion.

So basically, I was just asking about the CNA courses so I could help better and pass some of that knowledge to my dad and give him some respite from time to time. I wanted to know if taking classes was useful for anyone else. Thanks again!
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You are correct. Being a full-time caregiver will be a strain on your dad. Since your mother is bedridden I imagine she cannot be left alone. He will need some respite care so that he can go bowling with the senior league Monday mornings, meet a buddy for lunch once in a while, go to the opera, or go fishing -- whatever he likes to do on his own. Some regular time to himself will help relieve the stress. (I say this as a caregiver whose husband had dementia.)

You could provide that respite care, with or without CNA training, but I think the training is an excellent idea! Would you still hold your current job and help out a few times a week as you are now? Or are you planning to reduce your employment hours and help at home more?

Someone else could provide this respite service. Dad could hire a CNA or companion or whatever skill level seems appropriate for regular periods during the week. And you could visit Dad and Mom just as a loving daughter.

What is the financial situation here? Can your parents afford in-home care? Do they qualify for Medicaid? Will they be paying you if you reduce your work hours?
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I think that's a great idea. Do you work now? Are you interested in nursing? You will get a lot of advice on this website NOT to quit your job to start care taking a family member as the care taking may last many years that can adversely affect your own future and that of your personal household. It's  always a good idea to learn as much as possible about your loved ones condition.
Was your mom in the hospital and then rehab? What kind of help will she require?
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