Caregiving a loved one is a 24/7 Job
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
My 91 year old lives in his own home with 24 hour caregivers and hospice nurse visits twice weekly. For the past two weeks his favorite caregiver has been away on vacation visiting family. We have had two weeks of sleepless days and nights with substitute caregivers. My husband and I can monitor my dad's home with security cameras when we are not there; it is almost like living there.
Thanks to a new government law mandating overtime pay over 40 hours, we have had to hire two additional new caregivers. One started today and one will begin on Friday. A law that was intended to help caregivers now forces them to work with multiple agencies in order to get enough hours to support their families. It makes their lives harder, and it robs their clients of the bond they enjoyed with their favorite caregivers.
Today I spent three hours at my dad's with the new caregiver. Tonight I slept for two hours until I was awakened by a phone call from the home security company. The caregiver accidentally set the alarm incorrectly, and it was going off at my dad's house. I will be up for several more hours before I can get settled down and get back to sleep. Most nights I sleep just a few hours before something stressful wakes me up. One night recently a substitute caregiver texted me 18 times!
My husband and I had made plans to get away for three nights this week, but we had to cancel. Until we know that the new hires are going to work out OK, we cannot go anywhere.
Caregiving is the most difficult job I have ever had. Many of you know this as well. Our AARP bulletin just arrived today; I understand that there is a very good article about caregiving in there.